Firepower move a "Missed Opportunity"

The departure of the "Firepower" military museum from its Woolwich Arsenal site would be a missed opportunity, Conservatives have said.

Under plans being considered by the Council, the Royal Artillery Museum would leave the Borough in 2017, with the Council taking over its current site to develop a "Cultural Quarter" on the Woolwich Arsenal.

Greenwich Conservatives' Deputy Leader Councillor Nigel Fletcher, who served on the board of the museum until last year, has responded to the news, saying:

"It's a great shame that Firepower looks set to leave the Borough.  I have been involved with and supported the museum for many years, and repeatedly called on the Council to step in to secure its future.  Had they done so several years ago, we wouldn't be in this situation now.

"It became clear in recent years that without a significant investment in its future, relocation was the only viable option.  I think it's a missed opportunity to put Firepower at the heart of the proposed new Cultural Quarter, where it could become financially sustainable.  Sadly, the outgoing Leader of the Council seemed personally unsupportive of the museum and gave it only the bare minimum of help."

Under the plans being discussed by the Council's Cabinet this week, the Royal Borough will spend millions buying the leases for the historic buildings on the site, and will develop a "Cultural Quarter" with the aim of attracting arts organisations to relocate there.  Firepower would work with the Council to develop a smaller permanent exhibition on the history of the Royal Artillery and Royal Arsenal site.

Councillor Fletcher added:

"The important thing now is to ensure the Royal Artillery's history in Woolwich has a lasting legacy on the site, with a proper exhibition included in the new plans.  The plans for the Cultural Quarter have the makings of being a success, but I'm sad that the closure of the existing Firepower museum is the price to pay."

Nigel outside the Firepower museum in Woolwich.