Northampton Borough Council to consider creating museum trust

Published: Wednesday, 09 November 2016

A report by the Borough Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee into setting up a trust to run the Council’s museums will be considered by Cabinet when it meets next week.

Earlier this year, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee looked at museum trusts, and whether one could work in Northampton. Now its findings will inform whether it is appropriate to develop more extensive proposals for a Northampton museum trust, along the model set by the Borough Council’s sport and leisure services, which moved to Trust status as Northampton Leisure Trust in 2011.

Councillor Anna King, Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for community engagement, said: “Exploring the option to create a museum trust is about securing the best outcome for the Museum Service and wider Cultural Quarter in the long run. At a time when many other museums across the country are having funding cut, we have made a commitment to develop and invest in our museum and cultural service, so we need to be aware of all of the potential options in order to make the best decision.

“Creating a trust would allow our museum the flexibility to behave more commercially and act on new funding opportunities as they arise. The model is working well with the Leisure Trust which was established over five years ago and we will be able to use the lessons learned from creating the Leisure Trust to inform our decisions.”

The scrutiny report recommends further investigation into the option and Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet will meet on 16 November to decide whether a full business case should be developed for consideration in 2017.