The Introduction of Admission Charges at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

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Following the reconvened full budget council on 3 March 2015 it has been agreed that admission charges will be introduced at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery from May 2015.

Press Release 4 March 2015

Council services are under huge pressure and the predicted combination of increased demand and reduced funding from Government means savings of £102 million are needed over the next five years. This is on top of £77 million already taken out over the last four years.

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is located in the Royal Pavilion estate, at the heart of the city’s cultural quarter. Its diverse collections bring together arts and crafts from across the world and history from Ancient Egypt to the modern day to tell stories about the city and the world we live in. It is the flagship Museum of the Royal Pavilion & Museums which also comprises of the Royal Pavilion, Preston Manor, Hove Museum & Art Gallery and the Booth Museum of Natural History. Brighton Museum receives approximately 260,000 visitors a year.

It is expected charging will commence from Tuesday 5 May and the admission fees will be £5 for an adult, £4 for a concession and £2.80 for a child.

Charges will not apply to the following categories of visitor:

  • Brighton & Hove residents and accompanying children on provision of proof of residency eg. driving licence, letter or bill
  • Members of the Royal Pavilion & Museums on presentation of valid membership card
  • Students in full or part time education at either of the City’s universities or further education colleges – on presentation of student card
  • UK school children visiting as part of an organised visit
  • The Royal Pavilion & Museums also has a number of free and discounted admission arrangements at its existing charged venues for various groups such as looked after children, disability groups, home schooled children, armed forces members, as well as a heavily discounted charity rate. All of these rates will be available at the Museum.

Admission to Hove Museum & Art Gallery and the Booth Museum of Natural History will remain free of charge. Charges already apply at the Royal Pavilion and Preston Manor.

The Royal Pavilion & Museums successfully generates 77% of its £6.9 million running costs through commercial income and grants (based 2014/15 budget). The Brighton & Hove City Council contribution is 23%. Over the period 2015 -18 this contribution will drop by an anticipated 40 -50% as the local authority adapts to the challenging funding situation. It is anticipated that the introduction of admission charges at Brighton Museum will generate income to cover approximately 1/3rd of this drop in funding.

Janita Bagshawe Director of Royal Pavilion & Museums said ‘The Royal Pavilion & Museums like many other museums and galleries across the country is having to rethink how it runs its services in the face of reductions in council budgets. We already generate 57% of our costs through charges and commercial activity and in addition a successful track record in fundraising, securing funding through grants and trusts of 20%.

In Brighton we are fortunate to have a strong tourist and day visitor market who make up a significant proportion of visitors to Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. Introducing admission charges for these categories of visitor will help us safeguard other areas of museum activity such as exhibitions, learning, conservation, curation services and community engagement projects

Charging at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is just one of the numerous approaches we are taking to meet our anticipated funding reduction over the next three years, such as developing new business models for each of our five sites, increasing venue hire activity, reviewing all other charging policies, increasing on site donations, and promoting membership and individual giving.

A number of council funded Museums’ Services around the country are facing similar challenges as funding from central government is reduced. The Museums Journal has recently highlighted cuts faced by a number of Museums.

The Royal Pavilion & Museums also receives support from an independent registered charity, The Royal Pavilion & Museums Foundation. The charity’s purpose is to raise funds to help the Royal Pavilion & Museums conserve its historic buildings, share its collections, and bring the very best of art and culture to Brighton & Hove. For more information on how you can support the Royal Pavilion & Museums visit www.brightonmuseums.org.uk/discover/get-involved/join-us/become-a-member/

For more information about the Royal Pavilion & Museums visit our new website www.brightonmuseums.org.uk

Ends

Information for editors

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
Entrance in Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton BN1 1EE
03000 290900
www.brightonmuseums.org.uk
Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm
Closed Monday (except public holidays 10am-5pm); 24 December (from 2.30pm), 25 & 26 December
Wheelchair accessible, wheelchairs available, accessible toilet, baby changing facilities, passenger lift
Gift shop, cafe

Press enquiries:
Brighton & Hove City Council Press Office, 01273 293033
press@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Royal Pavilion & Museums Marketing, 03000 290906
museums.marketing@brighton-hove.gov.uk

FAQs Introduction of Admission Charges at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

1. Why are you introducing admission charges?

Our council budget over the next five years will be challenging.

  • Costs will increase due to inflation, population change and rising demand for our services.
  • Funding from central government will be severely reduced.

This will result in a funding gap.
Further information on the scale of the challenge facing our council budget can be found here.
http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/council-and-democracy/council-finance/planning-our-future
The Royal Pavilion & Museums successfully generates 77% of its £6.9 million running costs through commercial income and grants (based 2014/15 budget). The local authority contribution is 23%.

RPM-funding-contribution

Over many years the Royal Pavilion & Museums has been seeking to minimise running costs and increase income from grants and through commercial enterprise. In 2010 /11 its running costs were £6.5 million with a local authority contribution of 32% and 68% generated through admission charges, commercial income & grants.

During 2015/18 it is expected the local authority contribution to the Royal Pavilion & Museums could be reduced by as much as 40-50% due to the challenging budget situation facing our council as a whole. We therefore need to find new sources of funding and income generation as well as continuing to minimise costs.

Introducing income charges for Brighton Museum & Art Gallery will generate £200,000 sufficient income to meet approximately 1/3rd of this projected funding gap for 15/18.

2. Which Museums do these new proposed charges apply to and when will they be implemented?

Charges will apply to Brighton Museum & Art Gallery from May 2015.

Admission charges have historically been made at the Royal Pavilion and Preston Manor. These will continue and will increase in 15/16 in line with regular annual increases.

At Hove Museum & Art Gallery and the Booth Museum of Natural History admission will remain free.

3. What are the new proposed charges and will there be any exemptions?

Brighton Museum  Proposed Charge 
Adult £5.00
Adult groups/web/promotions £4.00
Child £2.80
Concession Senior/Student/Unemployed £4.00
Concession groups £3.50
Family 1 Adult & 2 Children £7.80
Family 2 Adult & 2 Children £10.60
Royal Pavilion & Museums Member Free
B&H Resident Adult Free
B&H Resident Child Free
B&H Student Free
Schools Free
Accompanying carers for disabled visitors Free

 

Exemptions

  • Members of the Royal Pavilion & Museums Foundation – on presentation of membership card.
  • All Brighton & Hove residents and accompanying children – on provision of valid postcode or proof of residency ie: driving licence, letter or bill.
  • Students in full or part time education at either of the City’s universities or further education colleges – on presentation of student card.
  • All children attending in a school group will enjoy free admission regardless of whether their school is within Brighton & Hove.
  • RPM also has a number of free and discounted admission arrangements at its existing charged venues for various groups such as looked after children, disability groups, home schooled children, armed forces members, as well as a heavily discounted charity rate. All of these rates will be available at the Museum.
  • We will introduce a number of promotional offers allowing for discounts if visiting a combination of our charged venues

4. Do you expect to see visitor numbers drop as a result of charging?

Evidence across the country shows that when charges are introduced visitor figures drop.

Approximately 25% of visitors to Brighton Museum are currently residents so we hope that these figures will remain unchanged as will visits by schools, local students, members etc. We have looked at the impact of charging on other Museums and, based on this information, predicted as a worst case that we may see a drop in admissions by as much as 50% for other categories of visitor.

We have used these worst case predictions to model income potential.

5. Do other museums charge admission fees?

Many national, local, local authority and regional museums charge for admission. Here are some current examples:

Museum Charges Adult
Brighton Museum Proposed  £5.00
Local Area
Brighton Toy and Model Museum £4.50
Ditchling Museum £6.50
Lewes Castle Museum £7.00
Seaford Museum £2.00
Newhaven Fort £2.00
Further afield
Hastings Jerwood £8.00
Dulwich Picture Gallery £6.00
Norwich Castle £7.95
Bath Museum & Assembly Rooms £8.00
Bath Fashion Museum £8.00
York Castle Museum £9.50
Nottingham Castle Museum £5.50

 

6. What is the cost of introducing these charges?

There will be a cost to creating the infrastructure to administer charges which include alterations to the foyer, a welcome point at the Brighton Dome entrance to the Museum, new signage and marketing activity to publicise the change.

These costs have been taken into account in the predictions of the level of income that can be achieved.

7. What impact will charging have on other income generation in Brighton Museum?

The drop in visitor spend income has been taken into account in predictions of the level of new income that can be achieved.

We hope to see an increase in income through Royal Pavilion & Museums membership. Regular visitor from outside the City may find it more cost effective to become members entitling them to free admission to all Royal Pavilion & Museum venues for a year rather than pay on an individual visit basis.

8. Have you considered asking for a donation instead of charging admission?

Yes we have. We already suggest that visitors make a donation to support our work at entry points to Brighton Museum and in key exhibition areas. On average every visitor to Brighton Museum makes a 6p donation. This donations income already contributes to the overall running costs of the Royal Pavilion & Museums.

We are currently increasing on site collection boxes and training staff in asking for donations. We have extensively researched levels of donations income that can be achieved through a more robust approach to asking and highlighting the need for donations. We are hoping to increase donations at Brighton Museum to 10p per visitor in 15/16. This will generate £23,000 additional income – the budget saving we need to find is £200,000.

As highlighted above, the introduction of charges at Brighton Museum will still leave a funding pressure for the period 2015/18. We are therefore looking at increasing donations across all sites, as well as, rather than instead of, an introduction in charges to help meet this shortfall.

9. Are there other alternatives?

We are reviewing all income streams and charges and ensuring that we implement a policy of full cost recovery on all commercial activity. As with donations above, this is required in addition to charging to help cover expected funding pressure in the period 15-18.

The alternative to maximising income is to cut back on museum activity such as exhibitions, learning, conservation, curation services and community engagement projects. However, this will make it difficult to secure grants and trust funding for programmes and projects which both require organisations to demonstrate commitment to delivering projects through core match funding as well as ability to deliver. Any reduction in the scope of our activity will mean we cannot maintain a level of service to generate the income we require from admissions, donations, membership and schools visits.

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