Tameside Council is bidding for grant funding to help establish the museum on the ground floor of Ashton Town Hall and, to assist, is seeking the public’s views on what would attract them to visit.
The local authority is urging people to take part as it consults as widely as possible — including youngsters who will benefit educationally.
In a project called “Mini Museum Makers”, Ashton’s St James’ Church of England Primary School and The Heys Primary School worked together with heritage artists to explore the history and function of the museum and the regiment, borrowing objects for pupils to study and do art projects on.
They then visited Ashton Town Hall to see where the museum will be redeveloped and what it will look like when completed.
The inquisitive youngsters were shown objects like medals, flags, badges and plaques to stir their imaginations and had lots of questions that the council’s cultural services staff answered.
They were asked what they wanted to see, learn and do in the museum, while documentary makers captured the process.
Katie Turner, a teacher at The Heys, said: “The children have loved it. They love artefacts and hands-on learning. A lot of these children don’t venture into Manchester where most of the museums tend to be, so it’s great to be part of something in our local area.”
The museum tells the story of the soldiers who served over the regiment’s 200 year history. The barracks were based in Ashton with soldiers recruited from the town.
Tameside Council Assistant Director of Operations and Neighbourhoods, Emma Varnam, said: “The museum is very important to Tameside and the whole of the North West. We want to ensure it meets everyone’s needs and requirements so I’d urge people to take part in the consultation.
“We have worked with professional consultants and the schools are our consultants as well to make sure it’s appropriate for pupils and meets the needs of teachers. We work very closely with schools and families as they are the visitors of the future and if they don’t have a sense of ownership then it’s not as relevant.”
In 2015, museum items were relocated to Portland Basin Museum and the Local Studies and Archives in Ashton while building work to the adjacent council offices takes place. The timeline for reopening the museum back in the town hall depends on securing the funding.
It takes just a few minutes to complete the consultation at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegimentMuseumSurvey. It remains open until February 9.