Boston is shortlisted as a location for the Museum of Brexit
The Museum of Brexit trustees recently revealed they had shortlisted Boston and Peterborough as potential sites for the attraction - scheduled to open in 2023.
More than 75 per cent of people in Boston who voted in the 2016 referendum voted to leave the European Union. This was the highest figure in all of the UK making Boston the most eurosceptic town in the whole country.
In Peterborough, nearly 61 per cent of voters chose to cut ties with the EU - a percentage which still placed it as one of the highest scores in the country.
The website for the planned museum claims it will be balanced, and display items and ‘tell the story to inform and educate people’.
It also proposes to house a library and archive ‘to ensure academics have easy access to a comprehensive catalogue of material, to facilitate research but also assist with academic balance’.
Speaking to the Standard, leader of Boston Borough Council, Coun Paul Skinner said: “The potential for a Brexit Museum to be located within Boston provides a wealth of opportunities for the town, our community and our visitors.
“It would complement the ethos of the Town Investment Plan’s Town Centre Regeneration proposals by bringing our fabulous heritage buildings back to life to become vibrant visitor attractions that are also community hubs for learning and skills.
“The proposed museum would celebrate the links between the UK and Europe, Boston being well positioned to do this as a centre of trade with Europe spanning hundreds of years.
“The opportunities to link learning and culture to strengthen community involvement in pride of place through understanding the historic role Boston has played both as part of the Hanseatic League and more recently in the Brexit debate.” He added: “There is also the possibility the museum will be home to several community groups who will benefit from the refurbished building and close ties with the professionals working there.”
Dr Rotherham, who has lead the museum team in finding and appraising the options for a permanent site, said: “This has been a long and involved process. Each of the 50 initial locations were put through a matrix of 14 criteria.
“This brought the long list down to a point where we could review individual sites on a separate set of fresh criteria relating to the buildings themselves. This was a difficult task as there are some remarkable sites out there.
“Everything from size, cost, transport links, support or otherwise from the local community, and council, through to ability to hire - local wage rates etc were considered.
“In the end we have decided that the two buildings most suitable for our needs are in the town of Boston in Lincolnshire, or the City of Peterborough. Both of these buildings would
match the requirements of the Museum in display space, archive space, and the ability to run educational programs.
“What is vital is that this project is sustainable, financially and historically. We are not looking at the next 10 years, we are looking at the next hundred.”
The Standard asked a spokeman for the Museum of Brexit which building they were looking at in Boston, but he said: “I’ve been told to keep tight-lipped about that for now - but it is in the town centre.”