Jersey plan to make museum free

Island government in talks with heritage body

Entry to museums and heritage sites in Jersey could be free if a new initiative is successful.

Ministers of the island’s government have begun discussions with Jersey Heritage, which runs the museums and a number of other heritage sites. The talks follow a move which saw the government agree to spend 1% of its total budget on culture from 2023.

Deputy minister Montfort Tadier, who was involved in the campaign to secure more funds for culture, will lead the discussions. He has previously called for a restoration of free student access to all Jersey Heritage sites, a policy which was ended in 2010.

He said, "There has been a rebuilding of trust with the cultural organisations who now know that there is more realistic funding available. But we need to formalise arrangements and what I’m keen to do is to get a long-term service level agreement, or MOU, for what government expects and what Jersey Heritage can, in turn, expect from government.”

Jersey Heritage director Jon Carter said that admissions formed a huge part of Jersey Heritage’s self-generated income and that, while free access to museums was a plank of UK cultural policy, there had been no such tradition in Jersey.

“In comparable places like the Isle of Man and Shetland, there is a mixed model with the main museum being free while other heritage sites charge. That is something that our new board might like to consider if the government were prepared to support it .”

Latest figures show that participation in heritage in Jersey has grown since 2017.

 

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