Contact your Parish Council
Issue - meetings
Maidstone Museums savings and restructure progress report
The Museum Director introduced the report which reviewed the first six months of the new service arrangements at Maidstone Museum. Amendments had been made to the opening hours of the museum and the staffing to achieve the savings target. To increase the museum’s capacity for the May to September 2022 season a dedicated group of volunteers would be recruited and trained, in addition to those currently volunteering at the museum.
The Chief Executive Officer explained that the report on capital expenditure at the museum would give the Committee an opportunity to look at enhancements that could be made, with resources that had already been secured. A visitors’ survey would be included in the further report on the review of the revised opening hours and working arrangements which would be used as part of the evaluation of the changes. It was acknowledged that the current governance of the museum was complicated and suggested that could be revisited.
In response to questions, the Museum Director explained that the turnover of objects in museums tended to be slow, due to the time required to research and prepare for a new exhibition, and some artifacts were unsuitable for display. The Transformation team had started to explore how the museum might use digital methods and technology to increase efficiency in the gift shop, and whether the gift shop could be managed by another organisation. A visit to Brighton Museum would be planned for Members to discuss with the curator the innovative ideas used to modernise the displays.
1. The progress made in achieving the Medium Term Financial Strategy targets and restructure be noted;
2. Officers of the Museum be thanked for their efforts during the period of uncertain times;
3. The current operations of the Museum be reviewed against the Maidstone Museum 20 Year Plan and presented to the Committee for feedback;
4. A report be brought forward on the planned use of the £400,000 capital expenditure allocation; and
5. A report be brought forward on the museum’s current governance arrangements, including options for simplification.
Note: Councillor Forecast joined the meeting during this item.