Museum could be free next year
PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 September 2013
WESTON councillors have planned to scrap entry charges for the town's museum when it is refurbished next year.
Members of Weston Town Council agreed ‘in principle’ at their meeting on Monday night to waive admission fees for the new-look building, in the hope that more people will spend their ‘pennies’ in the shop and café.
The museum in Burlington Street will shut for building works next year as part of its redevelopment and designers asked councillors for a decision ahead of finalising plans for the new layout.
Currently the prices to see the latest exhibitions include £3.60 for adults, £3 for senior citizens and free entry for Weston College students and children who are accompanied by an adult.
During the meeting Councillor John Crockford-Hawley, who is a member of the museum working party, said: “Museums attract many more people who dip in.
“Some may stay only 10 minutes but they come again and again and this is the nature of museums.
“If you put on an entry charge you tend to have people resisting, even if it’s only a small charge. If people have gone into something that is free a larger proportion are prepared to spend money while they are there.
“The museum working party and designers would appreciate an in-principle feeling as it would greatly assist the design of the museum.”
Cllr Mark Canniford said if the entry charge is removed, more money may be spent in the museum’s shop and café.
He said: “There is only one way this is going to work. But it’s all down to the shop and café.
“If we can turn those into good commercial businesses then there does not need to be a charge. It needs to be free but we do need to take pennies out of everyone’s pocket when they come in.”
Cllr Richard Tucker added: “With a museum you have the educational value, when you compare it to other facilities. I think we should stick our necks out and give it free entry.”