Friday, 20 July 2018

Museum told it doesn’t need grant

PLANS to build a new roof at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley have been put

PLANS to build a new roof at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley have been put on the back burner after a major funding bid was rejected.

Planning permission has already been granted for a second roof over the current one which leaks but the £171,000 project has been shelved.

But South Oxfordshire District Council refused a grant application for £85,971 to help pay for the work as they say the museum could pay for it themselves.

The museum had said that when it rains, water comes into the foyer and the treasures gallery and this has to be collected in buckets. Now “remedial” work has been done to the roof to try and stop it leaking.

If this is not successful then funding for the second roof will be sought again.

Chief executive Ludo Keston told the Henley Standard: “We have undertaken further remedial works and are monitoring their effect over the rest of the year.

“We will definitely not be going ahead, at the moment, with the work that we received planning permission for because we can’t afford it. The view of the district council was unfortunately mistaken.

“Part of our character is that we are a charity therefore we are not in the business of making money, however, in an ideal scenario our income and expenditure would balance but at the moment it does not. We are working hard to address the issues and the work the museum does is not in any peril, it is not going to close or reduce its level of activity.”

In the past repeated repairs to the museum’s roof have failed to fix the problem which is put down to  the building’s design and the general deterioration of the existing roof materials. 

The new roof would have had a metal pre-fabricated frame with roofing panels that could be walked on for maintenance purposes. Rainwater falling on the new roof would be routed to existing pipes and gullies.

Mr Keston said the museum may look at doing the work again in the future. He said: “It depends on the success, we may have to consider going to look for other funding.”

Meanwhile, the Henley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (HAODS) were given a grant of £7,102 towards a stage and studio upgrade.

The total project cost is £14,204 with the rest of the money coming from the organisation’s “studio improvement fund”.

This will include new stage curtains and tracks, new furniture and lighting and audio equipment for their studio and rehearsal space, behind the Kenton Theatre in New Street, which is used by HAODS as well as the Henley Players, Henley Youth Festival, Henley Fringe Festival and Henley Literary Festival.

Shiplake Parish Council were awarded £1,325 for half the cost of replacing two noticeboards in the parish. The rest of the cost will be paid by the parish council. The current noticeboards were in a “very dilapidated condition” due to weather.

Plans to refurbish Eye and Dunsden village hall have received a boost after the district council’s grants panel gave them £191,000 towards their extension and improvement project.

The money will pay half the cost of a modernisation scheme for the Victorian hall, providing the grant can be matched with funds raised elsewhere.

The work would include linking the two halls with a foyer and canopy, a clearer access, underfloor heating, an external store and new kitchen. There are also plans to install solar panels to make the building warmer and more energy efficient.

Lord Phillimore has verbally promised £50,000 to the project and the £41,150 is being drawn from the hall’s funds.

Another £10,000 will be raised through fund-raising events while the parish councils in Binfield Heath and Eye and Dunsden are being asked to contribute £10,000 between them.

Companies and individuals are being asked to donate to the scheme and donors’ names will be recognised on request on a plaque inside the hall.

Donations can also be made using a fund-raising site. For more information, call 0118 946 1987 or visit

More News:

Latest video from

VIDEO: Tributes paid after rugby player's death

POLL: Have your say