Brighton Museum to introduce entry charges for non-residents from May - Museums Association

Brighton Museum to introduce entry charges for non-residents from May

Move will offset a third of council funding cuts
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Rebecca Atkinson
Brighton and Hove Council has voted in favour of introducing entry charges to Brighton Museum and Art Gallery for non-residents from May.

The move, which was proposed earlier this year, is expected to generate £200,000 a year.

From 5 May, the admission fees will be £5 for an adult, £4 for a concession and £2.80 for a child. Residents of Brighton and Hove, who make up about 25% of the museum’s visitors, will continue to be able to visit the permanent collection for free, as will members of the museum, students and organised school trips.

Royal Pavilion & Museums, which includes five museums and heritage sites, receives 23% of its funding from Brighton council, but this will reduce by 40-50% between 2015-18. The council hopes that the introduction of charges at Brighton Museum will generate income to offset about a third of that cut.

The council has predicted that visitor figures to the museum could fall by 50% following the introduction admission charges. Other income streams, such as individual donations, could also be negatively affected.

Janita Bagshawe, the director of Royal Pavilion & Museums, said: "Royal Pavilion & Museums, like many other museums and galleries across the country, is having to rethink how it runs its services in the face of reductions in council budgets. We already generate 57% of our costs through charges and commercial activity and in addition have a successful track record in fundraising, securing funding through grants and trusts of 20%.

“In Brighton we are fortunate to have a strong tourist and day visitor market, who make up a significant proportion of visitors to Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. Introducing admission charges for these categories of visitor will help us safeguard other areas of museum activity such as exhibitions, learning, conservation, curation services and community engagement projects.”

Two other museums in Brighton, the Royal Pavilion and Preston Manor, already charge visitors admission, which are set to rise in May. Hove Museum and the Booth Museum will continue to offer free entry.

Brighton Museum received 270,063 visitors in 2013-14.

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