Mu­seum may start to charge for ad­mis­sion

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By MATTHEW REVILLE matthew.reville@pe­ter­bor­oughto­

HER­ITAGE bosses are con­sid­er­ing in­tro­duc­ing an en­try fee when Peter­bor­ough Mu­seum re-opens in the new year.

Vi­vac­ity, the city’s cul­ture and leisure trust, is look­ing at the pro­posal to start charg­ing vis­i­tors when the mu­seum in Pri­est­gate re-opens in Easter.

The trust’s her­itage ser­vices man­ager, Sarah Stan­nage, said the pro­posal was be­ing con­sid­ered but would not con­firm when a de­ci­sion will be made or how much the charge could be.

She said: “We are ex­plor­ing ad­mis­sion prices for our her­itage sites but no de­ci­sions have yet been made.

“That is nor­mal for this time of year and many other mu­se­ums, char­i­ties and busi­nesses are do­ing the same.”

The trust cur­rently charges vis­i­tors £5 en­try to Flag Fen and £4 to Longth­orpe Tower. Ad­mis­sion to the mu­seum has been free.

Miss Stan­nage added: “With three her­itage sites now sit­ting within Vi­vac­ity, we are well-placed to push Peter­bor­ough’s her­itage over the com­ing year and de­velop a fan­tas­tic of­fer for Peter­bor­ough res­i­dents.”

The pos­si­ble in­tro­duc­tion of an en­try charge for the mu­seum has been crit­i­cised by city coun­cil­lor Dar­ren Fower, who learned about the pro­pos­als dur­ing a be­hind-closed-doors tour of the mu­seum last week.

He said: “I am com­pletely op­posed to the idea of charg­ing peo­ple to en­ter and en­joy their own her­itage.

“It was paid for and es­sen­tially owned by tax­pay­ers for decades.

“I was not alone in my op­po­si­tion and oth­ers stated quite clearly that there should be no ad­mis­sion charge. The ar­gu­ment for charg­ing was based on the present charg­ing at the other cul­ture cen­tres in the city, such as Flag Fen and Longth­orpe in Tower, while the mu­seum was pre­vi­ously free.”

The mu­seum has been un­dergo- ing a ma­jor facelift since clos­ing its doors in De­cem­ber 2010 and is sched­uled to open in time for Easter 2012.

Mu­seum staff re­turned to the build­ing last week to start to put col- lec­tions on dis­play in the new gallery spa­ces and dis­cuss fu­ture exhibitions and ac­tiv­i­ties.

pro­posal: Vi­vac­ity bosses are con­sid­er­ing whether to in­tro­duce an en­try charge when Peter­bor­ough Mu­seum re-opens, news which has been met with dis­may from Cllr Dar­ren Fower, left.

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