THE head of a bus firm has revealed his hope to devote part of his site to housing treasures from the county's past.
Simon Barton, managing director of Bartons plc, said the city should be proud of its past – and that if the local authorities could not afford to keep museums open, he would be happy to take the artefacts for display as part of a cultural exhibition.
He points to closures and cuts at museums like Brewhouse Yard, the Industrial Museum at Wollaton Hall and the Lace Centre in the city centre.
Mr Barton said: "I can understand why councils may find it hard to keep certain attractions open in the face of budget cuts, but we find ourselves in a position where we can intervene and help.
"There must be hundreds if not thousands of items that are either stuck in archives or in museums that have been closed down. And what I'm saying is that we have a ten-acre site and great access to the area, and I would be delighted to house them to put them on display until such a time as they have the space and funding to house them again."
The site of Bartons plc, on the High Road, Chilwell, lies on the route of the new tram line which will run between the city centre, Beeston and Chilwell. Currently, it is used as a space for art exhibitions and other events.
Mr Barton added that he thought it was a "real shame" that more wasn't done to promote the county's heritage.
He added: "It's just a case of getting round the table and talking about the ideas we have.
"This isn't just an idea we've had on a whim – it's something we're seriously considering and looking at how it could work."
Councillor Dave Trimble, city council portfolio holder for leisure, tourism and communities, said: "The city council agrees absolutely about the importance of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire's local history and heritage and we welcome offers of support by all other enthusiasts and supporters. However, accreditation by the national bodies that govern museum standards is also paramount if we are to continue to attract additional funding and support to improve our collections.
"The help of enthusiast and volunteers has enabled us to increase the opening hours of the Industrial Museum. Our intention is to seek similar community support for the Museum of Nottingham Life [at Brewhouse Yard] – the museum is not closing. Our proposal is for the museum to continue to be available for pre-booked school parties and for other groups of ten or more, when booked in advance, and will still be open to the public for special events."