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Future secured for Frome Museum

THE future of Frome Museum’s historic home at 1 North Parade as been secured. The trustees of the museum have announced that the mortgage has been paid off, thanks to the generosity of the Frome Historic Buildings Trust (FHBT).

Back in 2004, The museum trustees obtained a  mortgage of £75,000 to clear outstanding loans obtained when the  building was acquired from the Frome Literary & Scientific Institution, and for urgent repairs and alterations needed at that time.

In July this year, FHBT offered to pay off the amount outstanding on the mortage, which totalled  £36,410. The trustees of Frome Museum say they are very grateful for this support, which will secure the museum’s future.

Staff at the museum all work on a voluntary basis and the important Frome facility does not receive official funding.

Frome Museum was established  in 1966  by the Frome Society for Local Study (FSLS) in a rented building at Church Steps. After  the   FSLS was gifted  Wine Street House in 1974,  the museum moved there in 1975, re-opening in 1977. The museum trustees later decided to leave Wine Street House and sought alternative premises.

The Frome Literary & Scientific Institution offered the museum the use of the two top floors of its building at 1 North Parade. Extensive repairs and alterations were necessary before it could be opened to the public and the work began in early 1982.  A temporary display gallery was opened in 1985 and the  museum finally opened  in January 1987.

In 2000 the trustees of the Institution  decided to wind up its affairs  and  offered  Frome Museum  the building on condition that all their liabilities were fully     discharged. The trustees of   Frome Museum accepted the offer and  obtained  various  loans and grants   to clear the  debts   of the Institution   and to undertake extensive repairs  and exterior cleaning of the building.

Frome  Museum’s aims are:  to maintain, manage and enhance the  museum’s collection of artefacts and library resources  and to make these resources accessible to researchers and the general public and to provide a modern museum with an industrial focus.

Frome Historic Buildings Trust was founded in 1975  to ‘preserve, for the benefit of the people of Frome, any buildings in or around Frome of particular beauty or historical, architectural or constructional interest.’ Since then FHBT has renovated several derelict houses in Vicarage Street and Vallis Way and the coach house in Cork Street used by the Duke of Monmouth’s soldiers and subsequently as a cloth warehouse.  Owing to the increase in house prices in recent years, FHBT has been unable to obtain suitable buildings for renovation but is always open to suggestions.