We’re taking a much longer break than planned!

Following the summer break mentioned in our previous newsletter we were hoping to come back saying that we had already successfully started our fundraising for Phase II of the 31 broad street project. Well the good news is that we have. The £3,000 needed for the development of the full business case for the project has been secured from a local charity. However, also over the summer, the bad news is that Herefordshire Council, together with the Hereford Museum Service Support group, have chosen to go ahead with a consultancy project into the future of the museum service, which cuts across the next stages of our 31 broad street work, to re-imagine and redevelop the Library and Museum building on Broad Street, that has always been predicated on including both the Library, the Museum and the Art Gallery.

When a project that you are working on is fundamentally changed by actions beyond your control it is clear that things cannot continue as if nothing has happened. It is not known whether the museum future that emerges from the new project at the end of the year will be part of the broad street building or not – one of the many possibilities is that a museum could be built elsewhere. Consequently the Hereford Library Users Group, to whom 31 broad street reports, have decided, in the interests of honesty and integrity, to put the 31 broad street project on hold, inform the charity that it cannot accept the £3000 grant for the development of the full business case and to seek no further grant or charitable funding until the position about the inclusion of the museum has been clarified.

The Hereford Library Users Group deeply regret that the work on the 31 broad street project has had to be put on hold due to these circumstances as it will mean that it will not be possible to meet the deadline set by the Cabinet of the Council for the 31 broad street team to report back with worked up plans and a satisfactory business plan by May 2018.

The 31 Broad Street group has worked very hard over the past 14 months, with consultancy support, to establish that it is feasible, and affordable to develop the Library and Museum building on Broad Street and that people want this to happen. Les Watson, Chair of HLUG, said: “For the Council to initiate a project that will explore alternative futures for the museum at this stage completely undermines the work of the 31 broad street project and makes a mockery of the considerable effort expended by the volunteers involved.”

Have you got the time?

In our April newsletter we outlined the work that our consultants have been doing over the past 6 months to help us answer three vital questions about the development of the Library, Museum and Art Gallery building on Broad Street:

  • Is it possible? – the work on a feasibility study aims to provide an answer to this
  • Do people want it? – our conversations with stakeholders are helping to clarify this
  • Can we afford it? – our expert fundraising consultant is developing a clear case for funding and a plan that will work

It is the second of these three questions that we now plan to do further work on. In addition to the stakeholder conversations that have already taken place we now wish to start a programme of wider public engagement and conversation.

If you have got the time we would really like your help with this next phase of the project.

How can you help?

We need a number of volunteers who can help us maintain the 31 broad street information stand in the Library so that is kept up to date with developments and to talk with visitors about the project. The aim of these conversations is to both inform people about the project and listen to what they have to say about what they would like to see happen to the building and the range of services they think should be in it. If you like meeting and talking with people, are enthusiastic about the potential of the 31 broad street project and have at least 2 hours or more a week to spare, then you are an ideal person for this role.

As a 31 broad street public engagement volunteer you will be given full training and support to enable you to get the most from working in the Library supporting the project.

How do I become a 31 broad Street volunteer?

You can get more details about this volunteer work by sending an email to culturalvolunteering@herefordshire.gov.uk requesting an application pack. This is a great opportunity to get involved and we hope you will want to join us and help to make the project a success

Looking forward to working with you

31 broad street development group

Jane Adams, Kate Seekings and Les Watson

Happy Easter from the 31 broad street development group

What’s been happening?

It’s just over a month since we had the visit to Hereford of the Dutch Ministry of Imagination. The public event with the Ministry that took place in the Library and Museum on Broad Street on 2nd March was very well attended and thanks to all of you that took the time to come along and talk with the Ministry about their work and to talk to the broad street group about your hopes and ideas for the transformation of the building.

Since the visit the 31 broad street group have been working with consultants on three pieces of work to progress the project:

  • a feasibility study that is exploring technical, legal and other issues that will need to be taken into account if we are to make the project a reality
  • a consultation with stakeholder organisations to determine how the project fits with other initiatives and organisations in the County
  • a fundraising study that is developing both a fundraising case and a fundraising plan for the project

All of these pieces of work will be completed by the end of May 2017.

What’s next for the project?

In the next phase of the project we will be developing plans to undertake an extensive public engagement exercise that will aim to get as much public support as possible for the project and provide members of the public with opportunities to give us their ideas about what they would like to see in the building. We will also be starting to develop possible designs for the building over the rest of this year.

How can you help?

As someone who is already subscribed to our web site you can help us get a head start on our next pieces of work by encouraging as many people as possible to sign up on the web site, either through the site itself at 31broadstreet.org.uk or on the stand just by the Library entrance in the broad street building where they can add their name and email address to list. It really does matter that as many people as possible sign up to show their support for the project so please encourage everyone you know to do so.

You can also help the way in which the project develops by letting us have your thoughts, via the contacts page on the website, on what you think the building should be like in the future – what types of spaces, services and resources would you like to see in the building? The more information we have about what people would like to see in the building the better the end result will be.

We hope you have a really good Easter.

The 31 broad street development group

Jane Adams, Rob Hattersley, Kate Seekings and Les Watson





Dutch Ministry of Imagination visit

The 31 broad street group is delighted to welcome the Ministry of Imagination to Hereford this week from their base in Holland. The MoI is a small team that has an innovative reputation for public space and service development across Holland and in other European countries.

The purpose of their visit is to meet with people interested in the 31 broad street development project, to talk about their work with similar projects in Holland and to hear what ideas we have for the development of the Hereford Library, Museum and Art Gallery building on Broad Street.

If you would like to meet the Ministry of Imagination you can:

  • Join  the informal ‘drop-in’ session in the Library and Museum building between 9.30am and 11.30 am on Thursday 2nd March. Members of the 31 broad street group and the Ministry of Imagination will be there to talk with you about their work and the possiblities for future development of the building.
  • We also have a small number of places remaining at an event at the Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre (HARC) between 2pm and 4.30pm on Wednesday 1st March where the MoI will give a presentation of their work, followed by a discussion. Places are available on a first come first served basis. if you would like to attend this event please email your contact details to les@leswatson.net

31 broad street project launch

In order to inform the future development of the library and museum facilities in Hereford, the 31 broad street group is gathering information and inspiration from elsewhere in the world.

One of the leading international library development and design consultancies, The Ministry of Imagination, has agreed to visit Hereford to share their expertise through a series of workshops sponsored by the Pippin Trust.

From 10am – 12noon on Thursday 2nd March, the Ministry of Imagination team will be on our stand in the Broad Street building.  Come along and meet them and see some of their work from libraries in Holland, and discuss your ideas and hopes for the future of the Hereford Library, Museum & Art Gallery building.