Sunday, 19 September 2021

Museum offers festival space to move office

THE headquarters of the Henley Festival could move to the River and Rowing Museum.

THE headquarters of the Henley Festival could move to the River and Rowing Museum.

The museum wants permission from Henley Town Council to sub–let two ground–floor offices to the festival organisers, who have sold their premises in Friday Street.

The rooms, which measure 440 sq ft in total, are currently used by administration staff. If the move goes ahead, these staff would move to a new office on the second floor.

The festival would be able to sell tickets from the museum’s front desk. It is hoped that the move could be made in the early autumn. Ludo Keston, the museum’s chief executive, first put the idea to the festival’s chief executive Charlotte Geeves when she took up her post late last year.

He said: “When I learned that the festival were looking for new offices I invited them to come and have a look around. They are a charity, like us, so it seemed to be a perfect marriage.

“I believe that having another significant cultural charity on this site will be of great benefit to both organisations and to our shared and separate audiences.

“It will encourage our visitors to think about attending the festival and their visitors to think about looking around the museum. It would be a win–win scenario.

“We haven’t agreed anything yet but we’re asking what our landlord thinks about it in principle.”

Miss Geeves said: “We would very much like it to work as we feel the move would be to both our advantages and to the benefit of Henley itself.

“It’s exciting that we’ve had some initial discussions but it’s still at a very early stage and neither of us is in control of what happens next.”

Councillors welcomed the move. Councillor Elizabeth Hodgkin said the museum and festival were “a good fit”.

More News:

POLL: Have your say