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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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£1.2m grant for Carlisle's Tullie House museum

Councillors have backed a plan that will see Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery given more than £1.2 million.

Tullie House photo
Tullie House, Carlisle

Members of Carlisle City Council gave their backing to a business plan put forward by the museum on Castle Street.

The plans, which were prepared by the trust responsible for running the venue, were discussed at a meeting of the full council at the Civic Centre yesterday evening.

In total, members agreed to provide the museum with a grant of £1,217,200 in this financial year, which lasts until early 2015.

The business plan though also reflected that the venue is to have the amount it receives from the council cut by £250,000 from next year

“This planned reduction has caused the trust to carry out an intensive review of both its income generation and its costs, which is in turn reflected in some substantial changes to our financial projections,” the report said.

It also stated that the trust had employed a dedicated fundraiser, responsible for helping replace money that would come through the cut from the council’s annual grant. This is expected to come from an increase in sponsorship and grants from other sources.

The trust also plans to use its own financial reserves to plug any gaps in income.

Plans for the future of the museum were also included in the report.

These included proposals a project with a possible price tag of £18m that would see the museum use new technology, have more exhibition space and create more online access to its exhibits. The report said this would possibly be paid for with the Heritage Lottery Fund cash.

However, this plan is not set to be put into action until at least 2017.

At the meeting Councillor Anne Quilter, portfolio holder for leisure and young people, said: “I want to work together towards the future success of the trust and what it brings to Tullie House and the people of Carlisle.”

Councillor Gavin Ellis, a Conservative who represents the Belah ward, praised the trust for accepting that its grant would be cut and incorporating this into their plan.

“They haven’t lobbied the newspapers, they have got a plan together,” he said.

However, he also claimed that the budget cuts beginning next year were happening because of the council’s plans to fund a new art centre at the old fire station on Warwick Street, which he did not agree with.

The plan was approved following a majority vote.

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