Trust to take over museums and galleries
AN independent trust is to be set up to run Bristol's museums, galleries and archives.
The trust would have charity status and have more freedom to raise funds, attract donations and carry out improvements. The museums and their collections would remain in the city council's ownership and the annual civic subsidy would remain at the current levels. Cabinet councillors are expected to go ahead with setting up the trust from 2014 at their next meeting on Thursday.
Council Leader Simon Cook said: "Our museums service has gone from strength to strength since the opening of M shed, attracting over one million visitors over the last year. Now is the right time to look at its long-term future.
"Experience from across the country shows that museums and galleries have more freedom to grow and innovate when they are at arms length from local government.
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"The independent trust model of governance proposed will provide this flexibility and dynamism, at the same time as preserving the council's influence – as the major key funder and owner of its assets."
The museum service includes the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, M shed, Bristol Records Service, Blaise Castle Museum, Red Lodge, Georgian House and Roman Villa.