Councillor Elias Mattu has today reiterated his determination to secure a sustainable future for Bantock House Museum in the face of massive spending cuts.

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Wolverhampton City Council has put forward 165 savings proposals as it seeks to save £123 million over the next 5 years, including one to introduce an alternative operating model for Bantock House Museum.

Councillor Mattu, the Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "People may have seen headlines in the local media suggesting that 'the axe is set to fall' on Bantock House.

"Let me be very clear - in accordance with the proposals being put forward, there are no plans to close Bantock House Museum. In fact, we are determined to do all we can to ensure it continues to be a popular attraction for many years to come.

"The savings proposal which the council has put forward is to develop an alternative way of running Bantock House, one which would safeguard its future by building on its successful assets, increasing income and reducing running costs."

The alternative operating model would seek to further develop Bantock House Museum's popular tea rooms and catering facilities, explore fundraising and sponsorship opportunities and reduce running costs by developing partnerships with other organisations and by enhancing volunteering opportunities.

The council would also seek to expand Bantock House's events programme, in keeping with the surroundings, which would attract more visitors and generate additional income.

Councillor Mattu said: "We will carry out a full appraisal which will look at all options for Bantock House Museum, and we're also very open to other ideas from members of the public, other partners and stakeholders which could help ensure local people continue to benefit from this excellent facility.

"In particular, we're keen to work with campaigners who have been passionately showing their support for Bantock House Museum over the last few weeks.

"The scale of the financial challenge the council is facing as a result of the massive cuts that are being made by Government cannot be ignored, but people should be reassured that we'll exhaust every avenue as we try to secure a bright future for Bantock House Museum.

"I don't wish Bantock House Museum to become a political football - it is a very important facility for the people of Wolverhampton and we all must work together to do all we can to safeguard it."

People will be invited to contribute suggestions about how Bantock House Museum could be run in future at one of 3 special consultation events which will be held over the next few weeks. More details of these will be available shortly.

Councillor Mattu added: "I've asked for these meetings to take place so that we can hear from as many people as possible who have ideas or suggestions which could help."

  • released: Monday 3 February, 2014