Council to use £771,000 grant to buy a bank and turn it into a museum 

Chatteris Museum will move from town council chambers into a former bank in the town centre

Chatteris Museum will move from town council chambers into a former bank in the town centre - Credit: Archant

A town council will bank £771,000 from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA) buy a bank!  

Chatteris Town Council can move ahead with completion of the purchase of the former Barclays Bank in Park Street. 

The ground floor of the former town centre bank – that closed two years ago – will house Chatteris Museum.  

Town councillors has secured funding from CAPCA under its ambitious programme of market town investment.  

The bank, offered for sale with a price tag of around £250,000, has first floor accommodation that the town council will lease out.  

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said Fenland towns had previously missed out.  

“This kind of co-operation to help them shape a future in their own image, not decided for them, is brilliant,” he said.  

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“Strong culture and community are central to public wellbeing.  

“They help people feel good about themselves, their history, their neighbours, and where they live, and it’s inspiring to see culture and community at the heart of these proposals.” 

Town councillor Florrie Newell said she was “delighted” at the news.  

She said the investment would allow the museum to move from the space they currently share with the town council.  

“It also means they can open and close when they wish, without the need to check with the town council,” she said. 

“They will also be able to expand on events since they won’t be reliant on checking when the council is meeting.” 

CAPCA will provide £771,821 with match funding of £34,851 from the town council. 

Phil Hughes of Fenland District Council worked with the town council and museum to prepare the successful bid to CAPCA. 

The town council agreed earlier this year to buy the former bank and the leasehold of the first floor that could become flats or offices. 

Alterations will now be made to the council offices at Church Lane to create a larger chamber, two new offices and other improvements. 

An architect has confirmed to the council that it would possible to extend over the single storey, flat roof part of 14 Church Lane.  

The council had agreed last December to consider using “a substantial amount" of the money set aside for the Growing Fenland – Chatteris project on the museum.