Royal Pavilion and Museums - future management proposals

We’re looking at creating a Trust for the Royal Pavilion and Museums to ensure they’re protected for future generations.

The council is in the process of setting up an external review which will look at all of the options. 

We want to ensure that we engage with staff and unions in identifying the best way forward for the future of the service and developing a shared vision.

We aim to complete this piece of work by the autumn and anticipate that this will allow us to secure a sustainable future for the service, protect and care for the city’s assets and collections and make sure future generations can fully benefit from what is an internationally renowned heritage and cultural offer.

We're also improving the Royal Pavilion Estate.

Will the council still own the Royal Pavilion and museums if it moves to a Trust?

Yes, there will be no change in ownership. The council will still own Royal Pavilion & Museums and their celebrated collections. We’ll also represent residents’ interests in how they are run.

Why are you looking to change?

We need to find a way of generating new income for Royal Pavilion & Museums, as council budgets are reducing. This will put the service in the strongest position to offer opportunities for education, activities, events and exhibitions.

What are the advantages of creating a Trust?

A Trust would give the service greater freedom to bring in new income and help provide financial security for the future.  It would have tax benefits and charitable status.

Forming a Trust would enable us to focus on maintaining the buildings and collections as well as create many more opportunities for residents and visitors to see and experience the collections and enjoy the buildings.

What are the other options?

Remaining with the council

Keeping the service with the council could put museums at risk of having to reduce what they offer or closing through lack of funds

Management contract with a third party organisation

Unlike trust status, there would be no tax benefits and the council would have to pay a management fee to the contractor.

Create a ‘mutual, Community Interest Company, or other form of social enterprise

This option could be high risk because it is not a tested model for museums like Brighton & Hove’s which have internationally recognised collections and  operate on long timeframes. As a mutual, an organisation may only be awarded a contract for three years and does not attract taxable benefits.

About the Royal Pavilion and Museums

The Royal Pavilion and Museums runs:

  • Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
  • The Booth Museum of Natural History
  • Hove Museum and Art Gallery
  • Preston Manor
  • The Royal Pavilion and its garden.

Brighton & Hove’s museums’ services is one of only 23 in the country to be part of the Arts Council England’s Major Partner Programme. It is the lead organisation for the sector across the South East, supporting 300 museums.

Go the Royal Pavilion and Museums website