A PROJECT which aimed to reinvent the library services in Hereford has suffered a setback and has been put on hold - perhaps indefinitely.

An independent group called 31 Broad Street was due to report back to Herefordshire Council's cabinet next May on their plans to create an innovative new centre of learning at the current library building in Hereford city centre.

But Les Watson, who was leading the project, said no further meetings will take place while the council works on a separate report considering the future of museum services.

The 31 Broad Street project is in the second phase of its development and needs funding for public engagement, design development and development of the full business case. The museum would be part of the cultural hub which the project is proposing.

Mr Watson said: "I can't go to any fundraisers with our project as I don't know what the future of the museum will be. I have no option but to put it on hold.

"I actually don't think I have got time to do phase two before the deadline."

He asked for the deadline to be extended but this was refused. He also asked for funding from the council but this was refused too.

He said: "They have put us in a very difficult position. It may be the end of the project.

"It is extremely disappointing."

The council gave the team two years to develop the project to create a cultural centre.

In March visitors from The Ministry of Imagination in the Netherlands came to Hereford to talk about the best way to use the library space.

Mr Watson said: "It is all wasted effort basically. It makes a mockery of all the voluntary work that has been done. £13,000 has been spent so far and hours of voluntary work."

Herefordshire Council has been awarded Heritage Lottery Funding for the Resilient Heritage review of Herefordshire Council's Museum Service, with the Herefordshire Museum Service Support Group as a community partner. 
The review will look at the future of the museum and is due at the end of the year. 

At this point, Mr Watson would only have until May to finish phase two of his project.

A Herefordshire Council spokesman said: "The council has financially supported feasibility work for the 31 Broad Street project, and separately are working with the Museum Services Support Group who have accessed funding from Heritage Lottery to look at the options for how the museum service develops and operates in the future."