REPORTS of Andover Museum's potential closure due to funding cuts have ignited a firestorm of emotions among residents.

Locals have expressed a mix of anger and disappointment, and there is a fierce determination to save the cultural institution.

Andover Museum and the Museum of the Iron Age in Church Close will potentially close in 2026, according to Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) which operates several venues in the county.

Hampshire County Council is the trust’s largest funder, currently contributing £2.5 million per annum, but under its current budget consultation, which opened to the public on Monday, January 8, it is proposed that this funding will be cut by £600,000 per annum by 2027.

Frances Tree, a lifelong resident of Andover, shared her dismay, calling it a disgusting decision to cut funds.

READ MORE: Andover museum at risk of closure due to lack of funding

Andover Advertiser: Frances Tree is sad to see the bleak future of Andover MuseumFrances Tree is sad to see the bleak future of Andover Museum (Image: Newsquest)

“I heard this morning that they have to close the museum because of funding – it is dreadful," she said. 

"It is typical of Hampshire County Council. I was born and bred here in this town. I have seen how this town has changed over the years. It is disgusting to see they are forcing the last bit of the thing that preserves our history to shut down.”

Natalie, another concerned resident, highlighted the significance of the museum as a vital piece of Andover's history.

“I have got the opportunity to work with the museum in the past and I can say it is a great piece of history," she said.

"It is important that we keep spaces like this open to preserve our heritage. It will be a great loss for the community if they decide to close it."

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Another resident who didn't want her name shared, said she is more connected to the museum because her mother went there when it was still a school.

"I have visited the museum with my grandkids to learn about the history," she said.

"It's a place filled with stories, with laughter, with echoes of the past. To see it close would be heartbreaking."