COMMUNITY involvement will be the name of the game, when the Master's House opens to the public in the autumn, following it's £3m refurbishment.
Herefordshire Council has already appointed a heritage and volunteering co-ordinator based at The Master’s House, with the task of encouraging the public to get actively involved in the project, which includes a new library for Ledbury.
Jessica Worlock will work part time for three years, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of The Master’s House project, and she will be involved in a wide range of activities in that time.
She said: “The building is already looking fabulous and it’s great to able to see the timber frame exposed and so lovingly restored. I can’t wait until the scaffolding comes down to reveal even more.
"I hope to involve local people through volunteering opportunities, events and educational activities and keep the community informed with newsletters, a web page and through the local media."
She added: “I have been amazed by the positive reception I have received. We have a wonderful ‘Friends of Master’s House’ group who have made me feel very welcome and have given considerable time and effort to the project already!. I have had local people popping into my office to say hello and make themselves known to me, which has been lovely.”
Last week, in a letter to the Reporter, Coun Patricia Morgan, the authority's cabinet member for corporate services explained how libraries and customer centres will deal with reduced funding from April 2015.
Coun Morgan said: "This will involve more centralised professional support, use of self-service and the support of volunteers and user groups."
One idea that has been discussed is for volunteers to help to deliver longer opening hours which might otherwise be the case.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about opportunities to get involved with The Master’s House project, they can contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org or keep an eye out for the spring newsletter, which will update on progress and let people know what’s coming up.