Following the recent public consultation held regarding the future of Heritage Services in Surrey Heath, which closed at the end of December 2017, the results and feedback are currently being collated and reviewed, and the resulting report will go before the Council’s Executive in due course.
The consultation’s aim was to help Surrey Heath Borough Council develop plans to make its heritage service more accessible to the Borough’s residents and visitors.
The area’s heritage collection, like many similar collections across the country, includes thousands of artefacts and archives, and helps tell the story of the rich heritage of the area. These stores are currently based at Surrey Heath Museum in Surrey Heath House, Camberley.
However, much of the collection remains in storage for the majority of the time, so future plans could involve ‘taking the heritage to the people’ rather than relying on the public to visit a single physical location.
Since 2013, museum staff have been working with a committed group of volunteers to audit this collection and place it onto a database, with the aim of improving access to the collections, and future plans to make the collection available online.
This work has been invaluable in working towards Arts Council Accreditation so that the entire collection is formally recognised.
A discussion group with key stakeholders was also set up by the Council to engage and consult on future plans with those who are passionate about the area’s heritage. Members from a variety of local societies sit on the group, which is developing its own role, providing ongoing support and advice for heritage work.
While the consultation was running, the permanent collection remained on display at the museum, along with ‘Storetastic’, a display of fascinating items from the Museum’s stores. Current outreach programmes such as schools' workshops and reminiscence sessions, family activities, local history talks and walks also continue.
The Museum is currently closed, but will reopen with its next exhibition, ‘War & Peace - the work of War Photographer and Artist, Kevin Weaver’ on February 1.