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Brand new Trust

July 21, 2014


Last year I posted about museums and cultural bodies moving from the public sector to Charitable Trusts.  Well it looks like the Hampshire Cultural Trust is about to get the final green light this summer and will take on Winchester Museums and Hampshire Arts & Museums Services this autumn, while Somerset and Devon County Councils are also planning to create a merged Trust for their 2 heritage services.

?????luton culture

There are few examples of County Councils transferring their cultural or heritage offers to Trust status yet, it is more common for unitary or district councils, such as York, Derby, Sheffield or Luton.   Why is this? Cities or town heritage services are often compact and concentrate on a relatively few number of physical sites in a confined area, while counties often include dispersed sites that  seldom have a dominant museum or cultural venue.   Maybe.

Another consideration could be that County Councils have been able to weather the public sector cuts until now, while District and Unitary authorities had to make hard decisions in earlier rounds of public sector spending reductions.  Counties are definitely feeling the cuts now, and hence are revisiting Trusts.

However big the organisational change of creating a Trust, in the short term it is unlikely that the visitor will notice much change.  Spotter guides for the observant will be new brands, more commercial offers (cafe, shop, venue hire and sponsorship) and new websites.  I have included some of the more colourful examples.

From → Trusts

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