15 May 2017

Hove Museum café closure

Hove Museum café closed on Sunday 30 April 2017. Brighton & Hove City Council and its Royal Pavilion & Museums (RPM) service are currently exploring new ways of providing refreshments for the museum’s visitors.

The closure follows a review of catering facilities in the light of declining budgets. The council and RPM have been subsidising the café at the rate of around £25,000 a year, which has become unsustainable.

In order for the café to break even (which to date no café operator has been able to do) there would need to be a substantial increase in footfall of around 25,000 a year. The recent proposal to move the provision of Hove Library and increase the public space to the museum would have boosted visitor footfall by an estimated 150,000 visitors a year, which would have enabled the café to raise income to support the running of the museum in the light of council savings.

After the café’s closure the museum’s Pocock Room will be used for functions and education activities, and has already been trialled for children’s birthday parties with great success. The fully equipped kitchen and the existing license to sell alcohol also mean that Hove Museum is ideal for functions.

Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the economic development and culture committee, said: “I’d like to thank the contractor, Hardings Catering, for keeping the café going in recent years.

“This isn’t a decision Brighton & Hove City Council and Royal Pavilion & Museums have taken lightly, but in the current climate of reduced budgets we’re working to find new ways to provide refreshment facilities for local residents and visitors to Hove Museum.”