Entrance fees are introduced to offset budget cuts
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums introduced charges for facilitated schools’ workshops across its 12 venues last month. Director Iain Watson said: “This brings us into line with many cultural venues that already charge for these services.”
Elsewhere, Gloucester City Council plans to introduce a £3 entrance fee at the City Museum and Art Gallery and Gloucester Folk Museum, in an effort to cover a £200,000 shortfall in its culture budget.
Both museums are undergoing refurbishment, partially funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, with the city museum set to open this spring.
Meanwhile, Birmingham City Council has started charging adult visitors £4 admission at Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall and Soho House, and £3 at Sarehole Mill. Entry remains free for under-16s.
Martin Mullaney, Liberal Democrat councillor and cabinet member for leisure and culture, said all four sites, which have been free since the mid 1990s, faced closure if charges had not been introduced. The move follows the reintroduction of entry fees at the city’s Museum of the Jewellery Quarter in January.
Derby City Council has shut the Silk Mill for two years, saving about £200,000 in running costs as part of a £25m spending squeeze over the next three years.
Grantham Museum shut last month following Lincolnshire County Council’s decision last year to withdraw all funding. But the Grantham Community Heritage Association has since taken on the museum, which is set to reopen in three months as a community-owned charitable trust.
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