February 8, 2019 12.07 pm This story is over 40 months old

Hundreds sign petition to stop Usher Gallery changes

Large part of the gallery would be turned into a wedding venue if plans go ahead

Hundreds of residents have signed a petition to stop plans which would see most of the Usher Gallery turned into a wedding and events venue.

As previously reported, a major shakeup is being talked over by Lincolnshire County Council for heritage sites in the city to save money on running costs.

Members of the council executive have said attractions such as the Usher Gallery need to become “self-sufficient” and put to better use.

Under the proposals, The Collection museum would be expanded and rebranded to create exhibition space and take on artworks from other sites.

The Usher Gallery would then be used as an events and celebrations space.

But local residents are opposed to the plans and say that the move would be a “step in the wrong direction.”

A petition set up on the change.org website has already attracted 241 signatures at the time of writing.

Writing on the petition website Mia Monroe said: “We need more culture and heritage in Lincoln to increase tourist appeal.

“This iconic building is completely suited to this purpose and does it beautifully.”

The Usher Gallery opened in 1927.

The county council has said investment and restructuring of the services are needed to keep people coming through the doors.

Councillor Colin Davie, executive member for economy and place, said previously: “It’s about attracting and inspiring.

“It’s about having places that are the heart of the community.

“The future is not going into somewhere and staring at walls, we have got to have a much better experience.”

Fiona Hodges also said: “This is a short sighted proposal. Saving money now will result in this building being lost to Lincoln as an art gallery and we will never get it back.”

History of the Usher Galley

A businessman and philanthropist, James Ward Usher, left money to the city for the construction of the gallery after his death in 1921.

He also left his collection of clocks, watches and paintings which became the basis of the Usher Gallery’s collection.

It was officially opened in 1927 by the Prince of Wales after James Ward Usher’s death.