Lincolnshire cuts heritage funding
Seven museums and galleries to become ‘self-funding’
Lincolnshire County Council is cutting funding for its seven heritage sites, including its major art gallery and museums.
Instead councillors want the sites to become self-funding over the next two years.
The county council executive says the heritage and archive service costs a total of £4.6m a year to run, which is met by £2.3m income from attractions plus £538,000 statutory funding for the archives. Under the new plan, profits which normally go into the council’s coffers will instead be retained by the heritage sites.
Staff will be asked to increase income from events such as weddings and introduce charges for specialist services. The aim is for the heritage service to be self-funding by 2018 – a £400,000 surplus is forecast by 2019/20.
The seven museums and galleries affected are :
Museum of Lincolnshire Life
Gainsborough Old Hall
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre
Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for culture and heritage, said:”The council’s budget position is not going to improve. We’ve got an estimated budget shortfall of £74 million over the next three years, on top of the £145 million we’ve cut from the budget since 2010. It’s right that the heritage service plays its part.
He added, “This new way of working is more commercially savvy. By giving the heritage service a target to fund itself, we’re saving the taxpayer money and keeping the attractions open.”
The council’s archive and heritage service employs around 105 people.