MEMBERS of a trust set up to run Bewdley Museum have decided they are "unable to take the project any further."

Last year, Wyre Forest District Council appointed seven volunteers to help establish an independent charitable trust expected to operate the museum. 

However, Bewdley Heritage Trust said they have unanimously agreed to pull out of the project after failing to reach a financial agreement with the council. 

In a statement the trust said: "We were not able to secure an agreement with WFDC that would give us the confidence that the new project would be financially viable in its critical early years.

"To go ahead would, we believe, have run counter to our legal duties as charity trustees.

"Councillors will now need to consider an alternative future for the museum without us.

"We would have loved to have offered the museum and gardens a sustainable long-term future, and we sincerely hope that it remains a thriving, treasured part of our local heritage". 

Councillor Helen Dyke, leader of Wyre Forest District Council, expressed disappointment at the decision and claims an "improved grant offer" was on the table. 

She said: “We know how important Bewdley Museum is to the town and district. We want it to have a sustainable future and continue to be available to local residents and visitors alike. 

"The council felt establishing a fully independent charitable trust was the best option for this and therefore we’re extremely disappointed by the trustees’ decision not to take the project any further.

"We have always been very clear about the financial position and the saving we needed to make. We set this out from the start of the process. 

"A couple of weeks ago we offered the trustees an improved grant offer, but they didn’t respond.

"As the economic pressures on the district council increase, we will continue looking at all the options, including talking to Bewdley Town Council. 

"What we all want is to make sure the museum, Guildhall and QEII Gardens remain key features of our district.”