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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 23:09 GMT 00:09 UK
Public reject museum closure plan
Kinneil Museum
Kinneil Museum will stay open for at least another two years
Controversial plans to close a museum commemorating Scotland's Roman heritage have met with overwhelming opposition from the public.

Falkirk Council has proposed that Kinneil Museum, on the outskirts of Bo'ness, be moved to a better site.

However, a survey carried out by the authority stated that 89% of respondents wanted to see it retained.

Campaigners have welcomed the result, but the council's concerns about dropping visitor numbers have remained.

The proposals are part of major regeneration plans for Bo'ness, which include refurbishing the local Hippodrome cinema and using it as a heritage focal point during the day.

What we don't want to see is the museum run down
Adrian Mahoney
Friends of Kinneil

Opponents to the plan are concerned that the museum's collection could be split up and part of it sent to Falkirk.

Adrian Mahoney, chairman of Friends of Kinneil, which has attracted public support for its campaign to save the museum, said he was not surprised by the survey findings.

"What we don't want to see is the museum run down, which is something people would be unhappy about," he said.

"We would rather see people embrace it and developing it to boost visitor numbers."

The museum tells the history of the eastern end of the Antonine Wall, the most northerly frontier of the Roman empire.

Further consultation

But Falkirk Council is concerned that visitor figures, which have dropped below the average of 4,000 a year, are not showing any improvement.

The authority also said that the museum's B-listed status and privately owned cottages by Kinneil House could pose development constraints.

Council environment convener Robert Spears said further work on the future of the museum, which will stay open for at least another two years, still had to be carried out.

"We have already made some improvements to Kinneil Museum, following consultation, and are looking at ways to increase visitor numbers," he said.


SEE ALSO
Museum protesters claim backing
22 Jun 06 |  Tayside and Central
Visitor numbers campaign gears up
16 May 06 |  Tayside and Central
Curtain to rise on first cinema
22 Aug 06 |  Tayside and Central
World Heritage bid hope for wall
20 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Roman wall heritage bid backing
14 Jun 05 |  Scotland

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