Preparations to move the Royal Pavilion & Museums into a stand-alone trust are likely to be extended following the coronavirus outbreak.
The Royal Pavilion & Museum trustees have been working jointly with the council on an extended transition period and have put forward a proposal to move the transfer date from 1 April to 1 October, provided the conditions are right. Over the summer months the council and trustees will work together to monitor the situation with the option of extending the transition period to 1 April 2021 if necessary.
Councillors will have to agree the proposal at a special meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee which has been provisionally scheduled for next Tuesday, 31 March to consider urgent council business.
Michael Bedingfield, chair of the Royal Pavilion & Museum trustees, said: “With government restrictions developing on a daily basis, everyone by now will understand the seriousness of Coronavirus and the impact it is having on our city and the entire country.
“All the museums staff who look after visitors and the collections have been fantastic throughout these challenging times and I want to reassure them and all our volunteers and supporters that both the council and trustees support the transfer of the service and will work with staff to prepare for the transfer at a later date .”
Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the tourism, equalities, communities and culture committee, said: “We are really disappointed that the 1 April date no longer looks achievable but this an unprecedented situation and I’m keen that we continue to build on the work we have already done to prepare for the Trust. We'll continue to involve trustees and staff over the coming weeks to prepare for the best possible future for the Royal Pavilion and Museums.
“Our aim is to move to a Trust as soon as is practically possible and this will happen at a time that is best for the future success of the museums.”