PLANS for a new £1.8 million children's museum in Worcester are being dumped because of the city council's HQ sale.
Your Worcester News can reveal how in recent months council chiefs were considering turning the ground floor of Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum into an attraction for young people.
Last year consultants from Birmingham were drafted in to draw up a business plan for the venture, on the basis it would turn the ground floor of the Foregate Street venue into a high-quality museum to attract schools from across the region.
As recently as last month, after looking at various other options for the building, a children's museum still was considered the best proposal and thoughts were turning to a Heritage Lottery Fund bid for cash.
But now the council's Orchard House HQ complex is being sold to the University of Worcester for £3.1 million, as we first revealed on Tuesday, and the museum site is where the staff are set to relocate to.
The details are contained in a report set to be voted on by the Conservative cabinet on Tuesday.
It also reveals that other options for relocating staff included the Guildhall, or some empty public sector buildings, but both are expected to be ruled out.
Although the Guildhall has significant pockets of empty space in the wings, the spaces are relatively small and not open plan.
Likewise, some of the public sector options are buildings so small, it would mean staff having to split up into at least two different sites.
Councillor Chris Mitchell, cabinet member for finance, said: "The option we're looking at is the best value-for-money one for this council and the taxpayer."
It has also emerged that the Moors car park, which is also being handed to the university, will be open to the public during the annual Christmas Victorian Fayre as well as weekends.
And West Mercia Police has been told it can keep the 12 spaces it uses on the car park too.
Subject to the sale of the Orchard House complex being approved on Tuesday, the move to the museum will take place by March 2015.
Between now and then the council estimates it will need to spend between £200,000 and £30,0,000 on refurbishing it.
They will take up the ground floor's vacant space, which has been used for exhibitions since The Hive opened in 2012.
The actual museum facilities will be staying open even after the council staff are occupying a portion of the building.
Worcestershire Regulatory Services rents some space inside Wyatt House, which is also being sold as part of the deal, but has been told its tenancy is secure until 2021.