Stoke drops transfer plans

Council will keep museums, gallery and theatre in-house

Councillors in Stoke have dropped a plan to transfer the city’s museums and galleries from local authority control.

Fears that the plans could affect the city’s bid to be 2021 UK City of Culture are behind the U turn.

The council had been examining plans to hand over its major attractions into 'one or more alternative delivery models' for more than two years. It hoped that the switch to other operators would save £600,000-a-year.

A report to a council committee states “A decision has also been made to bid for UK City of Culture designation in 2021 and the retention of the cultural and museums service in-house will help to facilitate this key project.”

Officials also said that transferring ,leisure centres as part of the overall switch would have affected the council’s designation as 2016 European City of Sport

The plan would have seen Stoke’s two potteries museums and the Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall transferred to  a community interest company.

Now council leaders need to find new ways to save the £600,000.

 

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