DLI Museum's collections cost council more to store than display since closure, say campaigners

Eleanor Mills, 12.04.2017
Campaigners say council spending more on storage at Spennymoor
A debate about the running costs of Durham Light Infantry Museum continues a year after Durham County Council closed the organisation.
The council claims that they spend less money with the museum closed and its collection in storage, but museum campaigners contest this statement saying that it costs more.
The museum, which attracted just 39,000 visitors in 2014-15, closed on 1 April 2016
Durham Light Infantry Museum collection, which reputedly contains some of the most important military artefacts in British military history, is administered by the council, and is currently held at the storage facility in the nearby town of Spennymoor. Some items have gone on display at the university’s Palace Green Library in Durham as part of the Somme 1916 exhibition.
The campaigning group the Committee of the Faithful Durhams said that storing the collection since the museum closed cost £588,104 over 2016-2017, with an additional cost of £175,000 for the display at Palace Green Library. The council also pays Durham University £50,000 a year to administer the library and organise exhibitions over the next five years.

The council published the cost of operating the Durham Light Infantry Museum in 2013-14 as £396,984.

A spokesman for the Committee of the Faithful Durhams said: “The museum had just had a survey carried out on the building in 2015 and the building was fine, but had a projected expenditure to keep the museum up to scratch of £290,750, which was to be spent over a five-year period. The building could have stayed open for another five years at less than half the cost of one year at Spennymoor.”

A spokesman from Durham County Council said: “We are saving £242,000 a year in the running costs of the museum building compared to the one-off cost of moving the collection to a storage site we already lease that costs £76,000.”



United Kingdom, North East