A Feasibility Study led by Origin Consultants got underway in early 2018. The study was funded by a Lottery Heritage and Environmental Grant, and the Central Otago District Council. Central Lakes Trust also provided support through the funding of conservation plans for the buildings. The study looked at options for the future development of the buildings and collection that form the Clyde Museums. As well as appraising the collections, and assessing the museum buildings and the current and potential utilisation of the spaces, gathering the thoughts and ideas of the Clyde community was key to the project.
February 2019 Update: The Vincent Community Board held its meeting on 13 February 2019 at the Blyth Street Museum in Clyde and sat around the Council table from the original Vincent County Council Chambers. It was an apt setting to discuss recommendations of the Clyde Museums Feasibility Study Report 2019.
The Board resolved to put $94,000 in the 2019/20 Annual Plan to fund the development of concept plans to progress the redevelopment of the Briar Herb Factory Museum and the costing and re-purposing of the Blyth Street Museum. The report is available to read on pages 234-487 of this Vincent Community Board agenda.
The actions that sit below the recommendation to redevelop of the Briar Herb Factory Museum and sell or lease the Blyth Street Museum include:
- Demolishing the Briar Herb Factory Museum buildings A, C and D.
- Rebuilding the Goods Shed (building B) on site or relocating it to adjacent to the
- If required demolishing and rebuilding the toilet block E
- Repairing and strengthening buildings F and G so they have a basic level of services
and are upgraded to include an economical heating system, power water and
drainage. The buildings have potential for display purposes, a boutique commercial
outlet or ancillary space for a proposed new museum building
- Constructing a new purpose-built museum/community facility within the Briar Herb
Factory Museum site
- Relocating the Caretaker’s Cottage to a new site (or selling it and adding the funds
to the museum fund)
- Relocating the Police Lock-up at the Blyth Street Museum to a more prominent site
in the town, potentially within the Briar Herb Factory development
- Closing the Blyth Street Museum permanently. Retaining and redeveloping the site
for another use, providing a potential income stream
- The Council Chamber and its furniture either remaining in the Blyth Street building,
or the furniture and fittings to be incorporated into the new Briar Herb Factory
- Reducing collection content from both museums and relocating to the new facility
- Carrying out a district-wide study on museums, the aim of which is to coordinate
collections and governance
In the meantime the museum committee and volunteers intend to focus on the collections - recording, digitising, preserving, conserving and identifying items for de-accession.
Options for the Future of Clyde Museums
In October-November 2018 we went out to the community with six options for feedback on.
- This 10-minute Video Presentation gives an overview of the options.
- You can also take a look at this Options Document if you to read more detail on the options.
Background to the study
In June 2018 Council and Clyde Historical Museums Inc launched an online public survey focused on the perceptions and importance of the existing Clyde Museum buildings (Blyth Street, Briar Herb Factory and Clyde Railway Station). The survey asked four simple questions designed to gauge the level of public interest, knowledge and perceptions of the museums as a precursor to the 'I love Clyde Heritage Open Day', held on Sunday 1 July, 2018.
During the open day, large sheets with the four survey questions were posted at the museums along with helpers to encourage and assist visitors to write their opinions and feedback on their Clyde museums experience. It is estimated that nearly 200 people attended the open day and we received more than 50 individual written responses in total.
The combined survey information has been collated and broadly analysed for its responses to the questions and repeated key themes that were observable in the feedback. These are summarised in the report below.
Clyde Museums Feasibility Study Summary of Public Feedback - Origin Consultants 13.08.18 (PDF, 57KB)
Conservation plans have been prepared to inform, guide and support decisions that will affect the future use and care of Clyde's museums. They cover four key topics:
Understanding – drawing together information, both documentary and based on physical inspection, about the museum site
Significance – assessing the significance of the site and its fabric in terms of its historic, construction, cultural, social, archaeological and technical significance
Vulnerability – identifying the issues affecting the significance of the museum, including the condition of the buildings, and how they impact on the current and future vulnerability of the site.
Policies – conservation policies proposed to ensure the significance of the sites is conserved and made accessible in appropriate ways.
A big thanks to Central Lakes Trust who funded these conservation plans for the buildings.
The following appraisals look at the condition of Clyde Museum collections, and the condition and volume of storage, and make recommendations for improvements and development. These are another piece of the puzzle making up the overall picture for this feasibility study and helping determine options.
- Blyth Street Museum Site, Clyde: Storage Appraisal (PDF, 2.6MB)
- Blyth Street Museum, Clyde: Collection Condition Issues & Future Options (PDF, 1.5MB)
- Briar Herb Factory Museum Site, Clyde: Storage Appraisal (PDF, 4.8MB)
- Briar Herb Factory Museum Site, Clyde: Potential Presentation & Display Options (PDF, 7.2MB)
- Briar Herb Factory Museum Complex, Clyde: Collection Condition Issues & Future Options (PDF, 2.2MB)