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.
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.
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