Groups eye new venue for Pontefract liquorice museum

Pontefract Town Centre Partnership alongside Pontefract Environmental Group are hoping to turn the former dispensary on Southgate, Pontefract, now a derelict building for some years, into a museum.'Pictured L to R) Colin White, David Wilcox, Norman Blackburn and Sir Bill O'Brien.'p305a441
Pontefract Town Centre Partnership alongside Pontefract Environmental Group are hoping to turn the former dispensary on Southgate, Pontefract, now a derelict building for some years, into a museum.'Pictured L to R) Colin White, David Wilcox, Norman Blackburn and Sir Bill O'Brien.'p305a441
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Community groups are continuing to campaign for a liquorice museum in Pontefract in a bid to attract more visitors to the town.

Pontefract Town Centre Partnership (PTCP) and Pontefract Enviornmental Group have earmarked the former dispensary building on Southgate as a possible site.

The groups were originally hoping to transform the former Pontefract Magistrates’ Court into the museum, but have now included the dispensary as a possible site.

Sir Bill O’Brien, PTCP secretary, said: “We want to turn the former dispensary into a community exhibition and museum which will contain the history of the hospital, hermitage, dispensary and a liquorice museum.

“We would still like to take the court over but we are having difficulties with that so we want to include the dispensary site as part of our plans too.”

The groups first announced plans for a museum last year. They visited a similar museum in southern France as part of their research for the project.

But Wakefield Council rejected an application to get the building registered as a community asset as a business plan was not put forward with the proposal.

Sir Bill added: “We are in the hands of the hospitals trust over transferring the dispensary building to us but once we have got that we could have something in place within two or three years.

“Pontefract is famous across the world for its liquorice.

“If we had a museum it could see tourists from across the globe coming to our town.

“There’s a mountain of information about liquorice in Pontefract.

“We would be foolish not to take advantage of that to draw in tourists.”