Friday, 26 August 2011

Aston Manor Press Release

From Ken Jones
It is with sadness that, following a series of meetings between the Trustees of the Museum and
senior Council officers and members, that the decision has been taken for the Aston Manor
Transport Museum to quit its current premises in the Historic Tram Shed in Witton. This follows
withdrawal of the long standing financial support from the City Council.
Over the last 14 months representatives from both sides have explored ways in which the Transport
Museum could be maintained as a viable operation at its current site. Unfortunately, it has not
proved possible for fundraising by the Museum to be completed in a timeline acceptable to the City
In considering the situation, the City Council has been extremely mindful of its relationship with
other voluntary groups and the support given to them, but also the financial constraints it finds itself
under in the current financial environment.
It is planned that the Museum will vacate the premises over an agreed period and the exhibits will in
the short term be placed in store pending a review of whether suitable alternative premises can be
located. If none are found quickly the collection will be broken up and disbanded.

Councillor Randall Brew, the Cabinet Member for Finance at Birmingham City Council said:
“The City Council would like to place on record its sincere thanks to the Museum Trustees and
volunteers for all the efforts they have made to try and secure a financially sustainable future for the
Museum. This work has demonstrated a sincere commitment to the Museum itself and the concept
behind it. We wish the Museum every success in finding new premises.”

Geoff Lusher Chairman of Aston Manor Transport Museum said:
“The Museum has in the last 20 years attracted well over 100,000 visitors to the City, and whilst we
understand the financial constraints on the City Council we believe the closure of such an important
Heritage Asset and its display of local artefacts is a cultural loss to Birmingham and the prospects for
keeping the collection together are slim”