Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust update

Councillors agreed to move the management of the service to a single cultural Trust with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival from 1 July.

Plans to move the Royal Pavilion & Museums to a new cultural Trust were agreed by the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee on 25 January.

Council leader Warren Morgan has written the following open letter to staff which re-states the council’s commitment to full engagement with them and their trade union representatives.


Monday 29 January 2018

Dear Royal Pavilion & Museums staff member

There is no more important building in this city than the Royal Pavilion. It’s the heart of our history and heritage, it’s our symbol and our most recognisable tourist attraction here and around the world,  so there is no more important job for us at the council than to ensure it is handed on to future generations.

Given our funding situation over the next five years, some incredibly hard decisions will be faced by the council. For me, creating a new cultural trust is all about securing the future of the Royal Pavilion and all of our museums, together with the jobs of the staff that work there, for the long term.

This is not a privatisation. It will be a charitable trust, operated on a not-for-profit basis for public benefit, and regulated by the Charity Commission. The council will still own the buildings and have elected members on the board, and it will have a contract requiring the trust to deliver the council’s priorities. There is absolutely no question of any museum being closed and sold.

The Royal Pavilion & Museums will go into the new trust as equal partners with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, sharing the same restored estate, working towards the same goal of improving the city’s culture and heritage, but respecting the different roles and responsibilities of each of the partners.

I am determined that there must be guarantees on your roles, on pensions, pay, terms and conditions, and it is my personal guarantee that these will be put firmly in place before the new trust is launched.

The council is committed to ensuring that:

  • All staff will transfer under their current terms and conditions under TUPE regulations and that this offers sound protection for all employees
  • Staff who transfer will be able to remain in the local government pension scheme or join the scheme if they wish
  • The Royal Pavilion & Museums will be an equal partner in the new trust under existing management structures
  • Staff will have a voice as non-voting observers, at board level. This is the same level of representation currently available to staff on the Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival board
  • The management team at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival has confirmed their intention that all Royal Pavilion & Museum casual workers  will continue to be paid at their current rate of pay post-transfer

Our amazing, unique and valued Royal Pavilion and museums are nothing without the incredible staff who care for them and make them come alive for tens of thousands of visitors each year. Our city would be much the poorer without you looking after our precious heritage.

I want to take this opportunity to reassure all of you that over the coming days and weeks we will be meeting and talking with you and trade union representatives, making sure we answer and address your concerns openly and honestly.

This is all about a bright future for the Royal Pavilion & Museums we all love so much and I thank you for your continued commitment to the service.

Best wishes




Councillor Warren Morgan
Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council