BRIDPORT Museum is expected to get a council grant to help tackle damp in its Coach House building in Gundry Lane.

The problem may be so bad that it will have to be closed for several months to allow remedial works to go ahead – and a new temporary home found for thousands of items.

The building is used by the Bridport Museum Trust as both a store and offices for around 60 volunteers and staff. Amongst the objects kept there is around 20,000 Local History Centre items and 30,000 archive documents and photographs some relating to the area’s net industry and the Jurassic Coast.

Because of the damp some items have already been damaged and are now in need of repair and conservation.

“The current conditions are such that they may jeopardise the museum’s accredited status with the Arts Council England,” warned West Dorset Leisure Commissioning Manager Tony Hurley in a report to the district council strategy committee on February 7th.

Up to £10,000 is being asked to cover a specialist investigation of the building together with a one-off grant of £25,000 towards remedial works.

Mr Hurley warns that the cost of improvements to the building could be beyond the means of the Museum Trust and may also result in the building needing to be vacated for several months – with a storage area needing to be found for the items currently there.