Update: This project is on hold until we are able to raise more funds and the Museum is in a position to pursue the project.
Ranked among the finest in South West England, Torquay Museum was built to house and display the collections of the Torquay Natural History Society, founded in 1844. The Venetian-Gothic style building dates back to 1874 and the land under the museum was leased for 1,000 years from the Cary family and rent was 1/- per year, which is still paid today.
Like many other museums of this era, energy efficiency was not a driving factor in it’s design, and measures such as insulation are difficult to incorporate retrospectively in a listed building. Visitors’ expectations have grown, such that lighting and heating now account for the museum’s high electricity bills – approx. £12,000 a year. Our project will see discreet, roof-mounted solar PV on a more modern extension that houses the museum’s archives, making a dent in those expenses. It is, however, a significant step in the museum’s Sustainability Plan, which may see TRESOC involved in developing a biomass boiler shared with the church next door!
A Co-operation Agreement is in place with the museum Trustees, the legal agreement for the lease is straightforward as there is no lender, and we have reviewed the land registry title deeds for the property (a lovely old style deed written by quill on parchment paper dating from 1874!).
“Torquay Museum are excited to be working with TRESOC to develop this innovative initiative. Not only will we be reducing our energy costs in real terms, we will also be part of the solution when it comes to tackling climate change. By installing renewable energy solutions we will be acting as a beacon for other cultural institutions in the region and fuelling an increasing awareness of the role organisations can play in encouraging behavioural change.
A huge benefit of our partnership with TRESOC is the opportunity to reach out to our community to invite investment, both financial and cultural. Through this scheme Torquay Museum will be able to build on its relationships within the community and become a fully integrated community asset.”
– Phil Collins, ex-Museum Director