Memorandum submitted by the Dean Heritage
The Dean Heritage Centre is a registered museum
run as an educational charity. Our main source of revenue has
been visitor income, which has allowed the organisation to be
self-financing. Recent years have seen considerable drops in visitor
numbers and we are securing alternative sources of income in the
form of grant aid and our Service Level Agreement with the Forest
of Dean District Council. Particularly we have a Lottery Award
for a capital grants programme of £498,000 (in principle)
and a revenue grant for a project value of £89,000 (Community
Archiving) we also have considerable support from the South West
Regional Development Agency as matched funding.
If we fail to keep these projects on track,
this museum will be in an increasingly vulnerable position which
puts the collection at risk. This collection relates specifically
to the Forest of Dean an area the Countryside Agency has recognised
as being of special merit. It would lose significance outside
the context of this area.
Our concern is that we are expected to plan
on visitor numbers being achievable, throughout our projects.
Foot and mouth has resulted in a considerable
loss of revenue, this on top of further losses and costs incurred
as a result of the flooding in October of 2000. The effects of
foot and mouth are likely to be long term, we may well have to
consider the impact on next year's trading, leading up to our
development process. Our budgets are pruned to the last and the
salary levels of the staff are already below average, our position
is extremely vulnerable.
Interest free loans are of little help to a
charity such as this, we are unlikely to be able to afford to
The impact on tourism for the wider community
in Dean is considerable, this area is still recognised as one
that demonstrates high levels of social deprivation and unemployment.
This will, along with redundancies at the Rank Xerox plant put
this area into further decline.
ADMISSIONS DOWN February 26
March 63 per cent;
April 9 per cent.
DOWN February 38 per cent;
March 38 per cent;
April 16 per cent.
Our decision to remain open during the crisis
has proven to be the right one as we have begun to see an upturn
during April and over the bank holidays, which we hope will continue.