A man with strong family ties to the showman industry is attempting to open a museum to celebrate the history and traditions behind the culture.
Mick White, based near Bassingthorpe in Lincolnshire, claimed it has been a lifelong dream to open a working museum, a project which at present is being hamstrung by business rates valuations.
“My ambition is to open it twice a year. Then, I’m going to invite schools, show them the traditions and heritage of the fairgrounds. The money side of things doesn’t bother me. It’s because I love doing it,” he said.
White has come up across roadblocks, notably with the personal storage unit he is currently using for the showcase being classed as a business by central government and therefore liable to commercial business rates.
“It’s classed as a business. We got hammered for commercial rates. We pay business rates on the rest of the property. I wouldn’t mind paying them on this building if we were getting money out of this, but I am not,” he added.
White has applied for a retrospective revaluation of the property and also opened avenues to have it run as a charitable foundation, lest the current contents of the museum have to be dispersed.
“Without the shed, it will have to go. There’s a lot of people who are interested and are putting our case together. The amount of people who have said ‘you can’t afford to pay these rates.’”