People are being encouraged to have their say and help shape the way Bantock House Museum is run in future.

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Wolverhampton City Council is looking to develop an alternative way of running the popular attraction as the authority faces an unprecedented financial challenge.

The council is seeking to safeguard Bantock House's future by building on its successful assets, increasing income and reducing running costs.

A series of sessions will be held later this week to give people the chance to contribute their ideas and suggestions about how a new operating model could achieve these aims.

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "I've always made it very clear that we are determined to do all we can to ensure Bantock House Museum continues to be a popular attraction for many years to come.

"It receives around 90,000 visitors a year, which just goes to show how well loved it is by the people of Wolverhampton and the surrounding areas.

"However, as has been widely reported, the council is facing a huge financial challenge and must save at least £123 million over the next 5 years - so we cannot keep doing things the way we have been and must reduce the cost of all our services wherever possible.

"We are therefore looking at ways in which Bantock House Museum can operate without needing financial support from the council, by both increasing the amount of income it generates and reducing running costs where possible.

"We'll be looking to do things like further develop Bantock's popular tea rooms and expanding its already very popular events programme, as well as exploring fundraising and sponsorship opportunities and the possibility of partnership working.

"We also know that Bantock's visitors have come up with lots of good ideas and suggestions themselves - and we want to hear them."

Three sessions will be held at the museum's Tractor Shed next week at which people will be able to share their ideas and suggestions about how Bantock House should be run in future. They will take place on Thursday 6 March from 2pm to 3.30pm, Friday 7 March from 7pm to 8.30pm and Saturday 8 March from 10.30am to noon, and are open to all.

Councillor Mattu added: "We've organised these sessions because we want to hear from as many people as possible who have ideas or suggestions which could help.

"Rest assured; we will be listening because Bantock House Museum is a very important facility for the people of Wolverhampton and we want to do all we can to secure a bright future for it."

The sessions will help shape the development of a number of options for the future management of Bantock House Museum which will be considered later this year.

  • released: Monday 3 March, 2014