Bristol backtracks on plans to close four museums

Council will continue to seek external organisations to run venues
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Rebecca Atkinson
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Bristol Council has backtracked on plans to close four museums, instead proposing a review of its museum and heritage buildings.

At the end of last year, Bristol’s mayor George Ferguson unveiled proposed budget cuts of £90m.

This included closing Blaise Castle House Museum, the Georgian House Museum, Kings Weston Roman Villa and the Red Lodge Museum in 2015/16 if external organisations could not be found to run them. The move would save the council annual running costs of £162,000.

In a revision to the budget, the council said it would continue to fund the museums even if it cannot find organisations to take them on.

The budget states: “This saving is removed from the budget, however a fundamental review of museums and heritage buildings is needed. To secure the long-term future these attractions can remain open while we review a report by externally-funded consultant about the options.”
 
A spokesman for Bristol Council said it will continue to look at options for the museums but “should these not be viable the fall-back position would be that the council continues to contribute this funding”.
 
The council also runs M Shed and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. It will continue with plans to reduce spending on administration at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and review and reduce its archive service. These measures could save £100,000 a year.


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