Historic Bantock House Museum faces axe in latest Wolverhampton cutbacks

Bantock House in Wolverhampton could close under the latest round of devastating cuts to hit the city council.

Bantock House
Bantock House

The cash-strapped local authority must save £123 million in the next five years and as part of the planned savings the museum faces the axe unless a cheaper way to run it is found.

The house was built in the 1730s and opened as a museum in 1948, becoming a popular attraction with families.

The local authority will save £197,000 over the next five years it the museum closes. However, the venue could be saved if organisations come up with ideas as to how it can be run. The council is currently consulting on 165 savings proposals, which chiefs said included an ‘alternative operating model’ for Bantock House Museum.

A report on the budget cuts states: “The implications for residents, the economy and the environment will be minimal if a successful alternative model can be found. There is, however, a risk that the venue may close and the building left empty.”

Leisure chief, Councillor Elias Mattu, said the council was determined to protect the museum in the face of ‘massive’ grant cuts from the Government. He said: “Bantock House Museum is a popular facility and we are determined to protect it – and our other services – as much as we can in the face of massive grant cuts from Government.

“It's too early to say what these changes could mean for Bantock House Museum, but if the savings proposal is approved, we would carry out a full appraisal which would look at all options for the future management of Bantock House, such as the possibility of working with external partners and investigating external funding opportunities.

"In particular, we'd look to build upon Bantock House Museum’s already very successful assets, such as its popular café and excellent location within Bantock Park.

“I would be keen to hear suggestions from local organisations or other interested parties who may have their own ideas about how Bantock House Museum could be run in future. I’d also like to reassure customers that we’re determined to do all we can to ensure that it continues to be a popular attraction for many years to come.”

People can have their say at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/consultations.

It comes after the news that the government wants to cap council tax rises.

Comments for: "Historic Bantock House Museum faces axe in latest Wolverhampton cutbacks"

oldergold

What a joke! people have had enough of the incompetent management of local authority!

the should all be brought to task for the mismanagement of funds robbing Peter to pay Paul, throwing good money at over elaborate ideas. accumulating ridiculous expenses in travel and lodgings to talk claptrap with other incompetent authorities and obtaining guidance from outside agencies who,s soul aim is to line their own pockets.

the heritage of the midlands not just wolverhampton is slowly being throw out the window for progress regeneration, when really they are replacing it with eye sores ask westbromwich!

leave our stuff alone stop spending money on pie in the sky adventures,

Lakeside

What are you talking about?

What over-elaborate ideas? What incompetent authorities did they talk to? What pie-in-the-sky adventures?

By all means have your say but put a fact or two in just to back up the opinions eh?

Lakeside

Correct decision. Most of the contents are of little real historical interest so what purpose does it serve? Let those that want to use it pay for it. In fact why not sell it off?

oldergold

What are you talking about ? How come your opion is correct ? Summer row is one adventure that was pie in the sky, the planning and meetings cost a fourtune, blight payments paid to business owners for loss of business, those that took the cash, shops closed and the plan hit the pan !!!! Paying external agencies millions, to put plans in action that failed but still had to be paid for work done,

Old bilstonion

Lakeside you should stop Trolling around

bobwolf101

Make Bantock House, the libraries and the art galleries charities.

bobwolf101

Was just wondering....who put Central Baths in a side road that unless you know is there, you can't find???? That's why no-one uses it....its hidden away.

My view is close Central Baths....knock it down, sell the land for redevelopment and rebuild Bushbury Baths on Sandy Lane...at least you could find this without too much trouble...and more people would use it I reckon.

I couldn't even begin to explain the directions to Central Baths...a major council blunder!

PJW Holland

It was not a side road until the ring road was unnecessarily built blocking it.

As I pointed out to much abuse recently.

Elliot5

Central Baths is not the subject of this article. There's no point bringing other things into this debate as it will detract from the topic in question.

Ivor

While the low paid get the sack, down on George Orwells Animal farm cuts What cuts?

it looks like some are more equal than others

Get rid on the Mayor and deputy mayor, they are only ceremonial

£18737 + £3714 = £22,451 x 5 years = £112,255 Would any one miss them ?

Get rid of the petitions chair, Do they ever listen ? £4220 x 5 years = £21,100

Get rid of the Members Champion £4220 does this champion Joust for a living ?

if so sell tickets, if not sack him £4220 x 5 years = £21,100

Then make the Councillors do that work at the main monthly meeting

That's £154, 455 so far

Then Get rid of some of the official Cars and give them a bus pass, as they keep telling us how good the buses are and you now have well over £1/4M

KEEP YOUR MUSEUM OPEN and look at this

http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/article/3259/Councillor-allowances

Party on Comrades

Arlo

That would be the Central Baths you can see from the Ring Road, just off Bath Avenue, close to Bath Road? On the same site as the original Central Baths built in Victorian Times? Just a few minutes walk from the City Centre?

charlie17

The council could always lease the top floor of Bantock House to an organisation, restrict the displays to the ground floor and rotate the displays whilst also limiting the opening hours by closing the house during the winter and opening a few days a week in the summer possibly using volunteers, perhaps the Local National Trust could help.

With regards to bobwolf101 and swimming baths I would suggest that the Central Baths which serves the whole of the west of the City plus the baths in Bushbury and anywhere else in the City should sold to private enterprise and developed to their full potential. A City Council are not the right people to run any business they tend to think that the only way to solve a problem is to throw money at it and now the money supply is restricted they can only think about closure. Councillors think outside of the box please before you shut down everything

Jacko

Here's a suggestion

STOP ALL ALLOWANCES, PAYMENTS AND PENSIONS FOR COUNCILLORS !

When I was a lad in short trousers the then councillors did it for nowt and did a much better job..

I am willing to stand anywhere in Wolverhampton as an independent or UKIP and will not accept any payments whatsoever. Only problem is I now live in Shropshire. If that doesn't disqualify me I will stand.

There must be any number of retired folks like me that are willing to do the job for nothing.

This bunch of no- hopers ( LAB-LIB-CON) should all be booted into touch.

charlie17

It is not the political party, necessarily, but the quality of their representatives. When you were in short trousers the Councillors were all professional people or successful businessmen. The idea of payment was to give the working man a chance to be a Councillor and instead of improving the quality of Councillors it has opened the door anyone, no qualifications necessary. The result has been that they are totally dependent on the highly paid administrators who they employ and who would probably not survive in a competitive business.

Elliot5

It really shouldn't be closed, nor should it be sold off as that would effectively be privatising it, which is always bad news for the general public as the rich owners will make all the money from something that's privatised..

I suggest that it is adapted for school visits so that you have a steady stream of classes attending to be involved in interactive visits, which should cost just a small amount per child (like £1 or 2). There can also be more merchandise that the students can buy and more sales in the café if more people are going there anyway.

The main key is go attract more visitors but it probably doesn't appeal to a great audience as it is. People are not going to go regularly if all they can do is look around. There need to be things to do, which change regularly to keep the interest.

There could also be themed parties but for the best results, there should be a consultation with the public to see what they would like to be there.

charlie17

I think you have reinforced my point if some of these operations were privatised they would be made profitable but under council control they have to be subsidised. The solution to the City financial problems is a no brainer sell the loss makers and use the money to pay down debt which will reduce the interest payments on the £500 million of debt. The City can no longer fund the luxuries unless they scale back essential services like refuse collection or social care programs. The alternative is a BIG increase in the rates are you prepared for that, as a pensioner on a fixed income I am certainly not.

Bantock

Merridale House was given by my great uncle, Baldwin Bantock, to the town as a gift when he died. Please could someone living in Wolverhampton do some research for me? Were there any restrictive covenants put on the gift should the town want to dispose of Bantock House?

adamparkward

In addition to some of the already suggested cost savings, why not add these:

Wolverhampton City Councillors fail to collect £6Million annually in unpaid council taxes and business rates amounting to £30Million over the five year period, this is nearly a quarter of the budget shortfall.

The LNP Service (how many people actually attend PACT meetings?) blows £800k per year there's another £4Million saved over 5 years

Of course the biggest burden is that like they did in central government, the Labour councillors (of course there are councillors from 3 political parties but 47 of the 60 are Labour) have built a huge debt... half a Billion pounds in actual fact. This means that it's costing the council £25Million per year in repayments and Interest totalling £125Million over 5 years and yet they want to borrow £20Million more to refurbish there own offices and the civic centre, must we live amongst this madness? Poor council budgeting has resulted in £159Million pounds over 5 years being spent that doesn't need to be. Without this burden, saving £125Million over 5 years would be a doddle, we could in fact build more leisure facilities and continue funding great local organisations and charities such as the central youth theatre, West Park, and Bantock House to name just 3.

All figures given have come from the Council's own budget documents and information obtained through freedom of information requests.