From Oxford to Broadway

Publication: Evesham Journal, 22 December 2011

A historic house in Broadway is to be transformed into a branch of Oxford’s world-famous Ashmolean Museum which should attract 10,000 visitors a year.

A project to transform the 17th century Tudor House, once the home of HW Keil Antiques and currently standing empty, has received a big boost after a one-off payment of £200,000 from Worcestershire County Council.

At a meeting of Cabinet last week Councillor David Thain, Cabinet member for transformation and change, said: “This is a magnificent coup for Worcestershire. It will enhance tourism and it’s good for businesses in the county – it’s a magnificent facility.”

Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member for health and well-being, said: “This can only be good news for local businesses in the locality.”

The museum’s move to the area is a result of the generosity of local philanthropist John Keil whose father owned the former antique shop. Councillor Liz Eyre, local member for Broadway and Cabinet member for children and young people’s social care, has also been instrumental in bringing the Ashmolean to the area.

She said while there is still a funding gap of about £70,000, to ensure the museum’s arrival, Hereford and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce had offered to help find the money needed and did not believe there would be a stumbling block.

The projected annual revenue budget of the project is £75,000 but that is expected to be met from admission fees, shop sales, venue hire and donations.