A SMALL spark of hope has been given over the future of Christchurch’s Museum of Electricity after a pivotal meeting with owners.

The mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Peter Hall, along with community representative Adrian Dwyer, met with Rawdon Jones, the community development officer from Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), which owns the museum.

And there is a possibility the much-loved facility could be turned into an education resource.

There was public outrage in December when SSE announced they would be closing the museum in Bargates “indefinitely”.

Despite a petition to keep it open, the company insisted the museum would remain shut, citing an independent review apparently finding the museum was not meeting visitors’ needs and had restricted disabled access.

SSE said it could not afford the development works.

But following the meeting, where Cllr Hall also represented the Mayoral offices of Bournemouth and Poole, he said: “It was a constructive meeting and I am grateful to Mr Jones for making time to meet with me.

“The light may have gone out on the Museum of Electricity but I was encouraged that a new, brighter light may be on the horizon.

“The chief executive of SSE, based 500 miles away in Perthshire, may not have heard the strength of support from Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole, a population of almost half a million people, so I was reassured that the corporation will, in the future, be open and honest in its communication with the local community.

“In seeking those assurances I am very pleased that Mr Jones agreed to my suggestion that the local community will be part of the working group looking at the future of the much-loved museum.

“One of the options the working party will look at is an education resource.

“As a retired teacher I know how vitally important it is to have real life examples in order to engage children in the teaching of history, science and the environment.

“There are so many marvellous examples in the museum that demonstrate in minutes what would take days to teach in a conventional classroom.”