Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. Credit: VisitBrighton

Entry fee for non-residents proposed at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Rebecca Atkinson, 13.01.2014
Move could see visitor numbers fall by 50%
Brighton and Hove Council has proposed introducing entry charges to Brighton Museum and Art Gallery for non-residents – a move that could see visitor numbers drop by 50%.

The council is looking to make savings of £102m by 2019-20, and estimates that the introduction of fees at the museum will make full-year savings of £200,000.

If approved, a £5 fee for non-residents will be introduced from 1 May, which includes access to the museum’s temporary and permanent exhibitions.

Residents, who make up about a quarter of the museum’s total visitors, will continue to receive free entry, although the cost of seeing temporary exhibitions will increase by 25p to £3.50. Organised school groups from the city will be able to visit for free.

A report outlining the proposals predicts that visitor numbers will halve following the introduction of admission charges and that other income streams, such as individual donations, will also be negatively affected. The museum received 270,063 visitors in 2013/14.

“Visitors to Brighton Museum from outside the city could be charged an entry fee as the council looks for ways to cover its costs and protect its services,” a council spokeswoman said.

"The proposals for fees and charges are part of the council’s overall budget strategy, which aims to ensure that they cover the cost of providing services, keep pace with inflation and provide value for money.”

The council is also proposing to increase entrance costs to the Royal Pavilion. Adult visitors pay £11, which will rise to £11.50 in 2015-16, and the council is proposing increasing this by a further 4.35% to £12 in 2016-17.

Residents pay £5.50 to visit the Royal Pavilion. This will increase to £5.75 from April with a further proposed rise to £6 in 2016-17.

The proposals will be considered by the council’s economic development and culture committee on 15 January. If they vote in favour, then the full council will consider the issue before a final decision is made.

Comments

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Malcolm J Watkins
MA Member
Director, Heritage Matters
27.01.2015, 12:52
Have answered my own question and don't like the answer. See http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/shopping/shopping-abroad/price-discrimination/index_en.htm
which indicates that a local authority is entitled to charge more for non-residents than locals because the locals have already contributed through taxation. Now I wonder where that puts a trust?
Malcolm J Watkins
MA Member
Director, Heritage Matters
27.01.2015, 12:48
I know it happens all of the time, but I feel sure this is not legal under EU discrimination rules. It is a form of indirect discrimination. Somebody better versed on EU rules and law should know, surely?