A campaign to save a historic Wakefield museum from the funding cuts axe is calling for more support as a petition deadline approaches.
As previously reported, Clarke Hall could close to the public unless more cash can be found to secure its future as an popular attraction for schools and educational visits.
The Friends of Clarke Hall group has set up a petition calling for the hall to be kept open.
Although around 270 people have put their names to it, the campaign needs more support. The deadline for signatures is June 3.
Author Joanne Harris is also backing the fight to save the museum, where she did work experience as a teenager.
The petition says: “We urge the council to work with the Friends of Clarke Hall and other interested bodies to prepare and put into action a plan for the long term sustainable future of the building based on the best use for the building, ie its current use as an educational museum.
“We ask the council to provide interim funding until such a plan can be implemented.”
Joanne, a former Wakefield Girls’ High School pupil and author of best-selling novel Chocolat, said: “There is nothing like Clarke Hall and once it is gone there will never be anything like it again. It’s a wonderful place where not just children but also adults experience something magical.”
The Friends group, which has more than 100 members, has held crisis talks with council bosses in a bit to find a solution to the funding issues.
But with the main source of cash already exhausted, the group is hoping more people will sign up ahead of a possible council cabinet meeting to discuss the issue in June.
Janice Scalon, of the friends group, said: “We need as many people as possible to sign the petition and force the council to keep Clarke Hall open to the public.”
The hall was built in 1680 and has been used as an education centre since the 1960s.
Schools in the area regularly visit the grade-II listed 17th century gentleman farmer’s house, now a living history museum.
To sign the online petition, log on to the council’s website, www.wakeﬁeld.gov.uk, and search for Clarke Hall e-petition.
A link can also be found on the ‘Save Clarke Hall Museum’ group at www.facebook.com.