Council agrees museum move to charitable trust
THE FUNDING of Campbeltown Museum came under the spotlight last week after it was announced its management will be passed to a new charitable community trust.
Housed in an Argyll and Bute Council building on Campbeltown’s esplanade, the museum will become part of the authority-wide new libraries and leisure charitable trust Live Argyll.
Veteran councillor Ellen Morton grilled council officers as well as the leader of the authority, her daughter Councillor Aileen Morton, about the payment to manage the museum as she believed the local authority was ‘already paying for all its services to be managed’ by Live Argyll.
Councillor Aileen Morton explained: ‘By handing Campbeltown Museum to another third party we would have had to pay the deficit. We could not expect Live Argyll to take it on and not pay them to run it. It is still our property. We still have a duty to the museum.’
Councillor Gary Mulvaney, depute council leader, said: ‘We currently pay £37,000 a year to maintain Campbeltown Museum.
‘We could not pass the museum to the community trust and not give them the money it takes to run the facility.’
Donald MacVicar, head of community and culture at the local authority, added: ‘The cost for running that museum would need to be given to whoever is running it. If the council didn’t manage it, it would continue to be run at a loss and related costs would have to be met by the council.’
Cleland Sneddon, council chief executive, explained to Councillor Ellen Morton that the local authority had considered disposing of the museum altogether but as there were many artefacts that were of unknown origin or gifted to the council it would be very difficult to close it.
He also explained that as part of a community trust the museum would be able to get external funding support that was currently not available to the local authority.
Unhappy with the reply, Councillor Ellen Morton said: ‘Maybe I am being thick here, but we are paying the community trust to look after our
assets and we are paying them even more money to run Campbeltown Museum. It doesn’t make any sense to me.’
Later in the meeting of the policy and resources committee on August 17 the committee, including Councillor Ellen Morton, agreed the current budget to run Campbeltown Museum, including curatory services provided by Kilmartin Museum, would remain in place and be part of the transfer to Live Argyll, while the repair and maintenance of the Campbeltown Museum building would continue to be undertaken by the council.