Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Monday, August 2, 1999 Published at 00:55 GMT 01:55 UK


UK

Armouries saved from the axe

The museum was attracting less than half its target number of visitors

The Royal Armouries Museum, which had been threatened with closure because of a £20m deficit, has been saved by a restructuring agreement.

The £42m Leeds-based museum, which houses 40,000 military artefacts including many treasures from the Tower of London, had been plunged into crisis after attracting less than half of its target number of visitors.

But on Monday, following an entire day of crisis talks in London on Friday, museum trustees announced a rescue package.


[ image: It cost £42m but had estimated debts of £20m]
It cost £42m but had estimated debts of £20m
The Royal Armouries was one of the first projects to be set up under the previous government's Private Finance Initiative, which uses private sector money to fund large public building projects.

Under the inititiative a private sector consortium, Royal Armouries International (RAI), had been set up to invest £14m in the site and manage the museum.

Under the rescue deal, the RAI will hand over the running of the museum to its public partner, Royal Armouries, which owns the artefacts.

Royal Armouries will assume full responsibility for managing the museum by 1 November, with the RAI continuing to operate corporate hospitality, executive catering and car parking.

Government grant safe

A spokeswoman for the museum said: "The partnership will be restructured to play to the respective strengths of the public and private sectors. Control will be simplified and economies introduced."

She added that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which contributes an annual grant of £4m to running costs, has agreed to continue funding the museum.

Sir James Glover, chairman of RAI, said: "The new agreement positions RAI to trade profitably in the future and secures long-term prospects for our dedicated staff."

Lord Younger, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Armouries, said: "The trustees' prime concern has been to ensure that the museum, of which we are very proud, remains open and is given a secure and prosperous future."

The museum, which was opened by The Queen in 1996, had set itself a target of one million visitors a year, but last year had attracted less than half that number.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

30 Jul 99†|†UK
£20m debt threatens military museum





Internet Links


Royal Armouries

Department of Culture, Media and Sport


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online