Community museum charges

By on 25/03/2011 in Culture, Factsheets, News

Admission charges introduced to our community museums – Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, Soho House and Sarehole Mill – from April 1 2011.

This comes against a backdrop of £212m savings across Birmingham City Council. The Museums & Heritage Services section has to make significant savings for 2011/12 – £1.2m - of which £250k will need to come from community museums.

The alternative was to close one or more sites - something we were determined to avoid.

There has been significant investment in our community museums in recent years (over £30m in recent years) and are still spending £850,000 on the service in 2011/12. We remain committed to our heritage.

We have consulted the Heritage Lottery Fund, who understand there is no acceptable alternative to the introduction of charges.

Other local authorities are having the mothball sites but we have avoided that.

This decision to introduce charges has been made after every other option has been explored. There is no acceptable alternative.

  • Entry to the main BMAG site continues to be free.
  • Under-16s free of charge
  • No charge to access grounds and gardens - unlike National Trust etc.
  • A number of free days at every site throughout the year.
  • We have consulted the Heritage Lottery Fund, who understand there is no acceptable alternative to the introduction of charges.
  • Charges kept to minimum and compare favourably with similar heritage sites across the UK.

Based on research across the sector and informed by an earlier pilot at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, the proposed admission charges for the sites are as follows:

  • Adults  £4
  • Concessions £3
  • Children under 16 FREE
  • Annual multi site pass £16
  • (Sarehole Mill has slightly lower prices of £3 for adults and £2 for concessions due to it being a smaller site)

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. lesley spofforth says:

    Hi can you please let me know if there is to be a special price for pensioner as even £3 is a hell of a lot museum

    • geoffc says:

      Hi Lesley

      As the story above states, the admission price for concessions is £3 – a figure that compares favourably with similar attractions across the UK.

      There will also be a number of free days throughout the year – at least one a month at every historic house.

      Geoff

  2. Paul says:

    While I appreciate the Councils need to make more money I do feel that it is a real pity that some of us will no longer be able to visit these museums. We live within walking distance of Aston Hall and In the past my wife and I have usually paid a visit every few weeks. However, we have a very limited income and £8 every visit will mean that we will probably not even manage one visit a year. In addition we often have family visiting from abroad and we used to enjoy “doing the round” of the local museums. This Easter it would cost us £64, even if we have the “multi site” tickets.

    • geoffc says:

      Paul

      Thanks for your comments.

      These charges are certainly not a money making measure, merely an attempt to help cover costs.

      There has been significant investment in our community museums in recent years (over £30m in recent years) and we are still spending £850,000 on the service in 2011/12. We remain committed to our heritage.

      The decision to introduce charges was not taken lightly but every effort has been made to minimise the impact and it will be possible to access each site for free at least once a month.

      Thanks for your visits in the past. Hopefully you will continue to visit our community museums.

      Geoff

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