Meeting documents

  • Meeting of Transport, Environment and Communities Select Committee, Tuesday 29th May 2018 10.00 am (Item 8.)

Members will review the Trusts’ current and planned areas of focus and activity to ensure the long term sustainability of the County museum for residents of and visitors to Buckinghamshire. They will consider recent performance of the Trust, audience development and community engagement going forward and the financial sustainability (funding and income generation opportunities) of the Trust.



·         Wendy Morgan-Brown, Head of Culture and Leisure

·         Ruth Page, Culture and Leisure Development Manager

·         Sue Shave, Museum Director


The Chairman welcomed the following contributors to the meeting to present the report:


  • Mr N Brown, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement.
  • Mrs R Page, Culture and Leisure Development Manager.
  • Mrs S Shave, Museum Director.


Mrs Shave introduced the item and gave an overview of the current areas of focus and developments for the Museum Trust. The full discussion can be viewed on the webcast. The areas highlighted to Members included:


  • The Museum Trust was focussing on its self-sustainability, income generation and alternative income streams over the coming years so it would become more independent with the Management fee received from the Council to reduce over the next 5 years. .
  • A Programme of Commercial Development had been developed which included; the registration of the Museum as a wedding venue; an increase in venue hire income, development of further SLA’s with other organisations and a focus on school holiday events such as the recent Lego exhibition which was hugely successful.
  • Overall visitor numbers had increased, but Members heard that school numbers were lower. Members heard that engagement with schools was an area they were developing. An example of this work was the development of pre-history workshops that were ready to launch.
  • There was an increase in donations income from last year at £400, to over £5000 this year.
  • Venue hire was up 50% from last year.
  • A Community Outreach Officer had just started, who was enhancing community engagement and working with communities to increase awareness and participation.
  • A Commercial Manager would be appointed who would be driving forward the income generation work and the sale of venue hire space.
  • The Council was thanked for their support and pride in the museum.



Members raised the following areas through their questions and discussion:


  • Members emphasised what a great resource our museums in the county were. They were told that a recently appointed Marketing Officer would have a significant benefit to boosting further community engagement, participation and awareness of the museums.
  • Accessibility: Members asked what was being done to support the schools in the South with travelling to the Museum. It was discussed that the museum covered the cost of travel for a few schools and were looking at building a fund for travel and support for more schools. They also heard how HaltonMuseum Resouce Centre, the venue for the prehistory workshops, was an accessible location due to the ability to park coaches there.  Members also heard how the Trust was exploring further workshops on different topic areas such as Victorians and Tudors which could be held at different locations across the County.
  • Marketing: Members asked about Digital Marketing and donations. They heard that the Trust was working on offering Wi-Fi in its café and making the website more user friendly which was a key area of improvement. Facebook and Twitter are being used widely.
  • Food and beverage offer: Food and beverage as an income generating option was also discussed. The museum did not have a kitchen which has prevented them from serving hot food but they were exploring the development of their food, beverage and retail offer and the new post of Commercial Manager would help drive this forward. 
  • Value for money: Members asked if the museum was covering its costs. They heard that, costs were covered by the various income generations and funding streams they have and the BCCmanagement fee. They had a good surplus and the Board of Trustees and Board Chairman were currently reviewing and setting their financial targets and accounts.
  • Members thanked the contributors for their informative updates and were reassured by the enthusiasm, the areas of development and focus planned and the benefits that the imminent new staff posts.   


The Chairman and the Committee thanked the contributors for their informative update and congratulated them on their achievements.


Supporting documents: