Birmingham community museums to charge for admission
This is a press release from Birmingham City Council announcing admission fees for community museums.
Admission charges introduced to our community museums – Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, Soho House,Weoley Castle, 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)