Museum could need £600,000 repair work after cracks discovered

The Seahenge exhibition at the Lynn Museum in King's Lynn. Pictured is the great central stump. Pict

Structural movement means repair work is needed at Lynn Museum. - Credit: Ian Burt

One of Norfolk's museums could require £600,000 of repair work - to prevent it from becoming unsafe.

Cracks were spotted at Lynn Museum in 2017 and investigations have established it is suffering from structural movement - moving away from its original foundations.

Lynn Museum, where live bullets were found Picture: Ian Burt

Repair work is needed at Lynn Museum. - Credit: Ian Burt

Regular measurements have been carried out at the museum, based in the Union Baptist Chapel in King's Lynn's Market Place, over the past 18 months.

Those have shown there is no immediate risk, but further checks will take place over the next two years to monitor the issue.

Council bosses say the building, which is listed, remains safe and they have no plans to shut the museum for now.

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But the council is setting aside £600,000 to fix it, should the situation warrant it in the future.

The controlling Conservative cabinet is being asked to agree to borrow £250,000 in this financial year and £350,000 in 2022/23 to cover the cost of the work.

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The report which will go before the cabinet on Monday, July 5, states: "The building may become unsafe and it is surrounded by public roads and footpaths. A design solution based on a full survey is required."

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said: “We have been monitoring the building since some internal cracking was spotted in 2017.

"While initial ground investigation found that there was no immediate risk, we are continuing to monitor the situation for the next two years as suggested by the initial report.

"Capital has been set aside in order for works to be carried out should the situation change.

"Lynn Museum is continuing to welcome visitors and we will notify the public if the repairs will affect their future visits.

"Our primary concern will always be the safety of the people who use our buildings.”

Lynn Museum moved to the Union Baptist Chapel in 1904. The building dates back to 1859 and it is listed as Grade II by Historic England.

The museum is home to a number of the timbers and the central stump of the Seahenge timber circle uncovered at Holme beach in 1998.

It is open for booked visits, after a period of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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