Tourism and Cultural Property Management Review Board

The Severn Theater is one of the county's major tourism assets.
The Severn Theater is one of the county’s major tourism assets.

Shropshire Council is looking for a consulting firm to conduct a review of the management of culture and tourism in the county.

This could lead to changes in how some of the county’s largest and most popular tourist and venues are managed, including the Shrewsbury Severn Theater and Severn Valley Country Park.

A summary of the reasons for the review said the council wants to make operations more commercial in an attempt to mitigate the risk of cuts to its £3.2m budget.

The council’s report says it wants to explore whether the county’s cultural and tourism assets can be “more financially secure.”

It states: “The aim of this work is to establish whether the new operating model can help the Shropshire Council Cultural and Tourism Service achieve better results, be more financially secure and receive stronger support.”

The Council is responsible for a number of locations in the county including the Severn Theatre, Old Market Hall Cinema, Severn Valley Country Park, Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, Shrewsbury Castle, Much Wenlock Museum, Shropshire Museum Collections Center and Atcham Store. Shropshire Archives, Coalham Pumping Station and Ellesmere Bog.

Authorities say they want to cut the overall annual income costs, but add that there is scope to increase the amount of money generated by its cultural property through additional investment in staff and the attractions themselves.

The report describes the main challenges as “threats to the current £3.28m a year revenue budget for these services”.

He adds: “This can be mitigated by making services more commercial and increasing revenue, but this will require investment in staff and assets.”

The report says the council wants to review “the employment, management and maintenance of each of the facilities.”

The council has already agreed on a major project to develop one of its most significant sites, with a partnership between the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery and the British Museum due to open in 2024.

A partner gallery is reconstructing the Shrewsbury Museum’s Bronze Age display to present “a dedicated and dynamic narrative of local life from the Ice Age to the Romans”.

He will use long-term loans from the British Museum and also reorganize the Shrewsbury Museum’s own collection in the former Music Hall.

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