What now for Barnstaple Heritage Centre?

Barnstaple Heritage Centre will close at the end of March

Barnstaple Heritage Centre will close at the end of March - Credit: Archant

Looking ahead at what could happen to the historic building on The Strand in future

The future of the Barnstaple Heritage Centre building is a ‘blank canvas’.

The Gazette reported last week that the town council had announced the attraction would be closing at the end of March.

The listed building, known as Queen Anne’s Walk, is owned by North Devon Council (NDC) and the town council lease officially runs out in January next year.

District councillor Dick Jones told the Gazette the council did not yet know how it was going to use the building.

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“Officers will be going to visit the building on Monday (February 1) but as far as NDC is concerned, at this moment in time it’s a blank piece of paper,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic asset for the people of North Devon so we have to make best use of it and maximise its potential.”

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It has sparked strong debate on Facebook, with suggestions for use ranging from a registry office to a restaurant, while many wanted to see it retain some heritage function.

Dave Starr posted on the Gazette Facebook page: ‘Such a shame, let’s hope it doesn’t get rundown like the Oliver buildings’.

Ca Roline said: ‘Disappointed; this was on my list for my next visit south’ and Mandy Ford said: ‘No, it’s called a heritage centre for a reason! Promote it more’.

The town council hopes to use the Guildhall as a base for heritage services and plans to see it refurbished to offer a wider range of visitor and community use, including possibly a Barnstaple-themed museum.

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