Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Budget cuts may shut Boston arts centre

The Haven
Officials said falling income had forced tough decisions

An arts and exhibition centre in Lincolnshire which opened less than five years ago could be shut down to save money.

The Haven in Boston could be mothballed for two years. The move, along with the closure of public toilets, could save the borough council more than £400,000.

The authority said it was predicting a deficit of £1.4m by 2011/12 and savings were needed across the board.

A final decision will be made by the full council on 1 March.

The Haven, which includes an art gallery, museum and exhibition space, replaced a derelict shop as part of a cultural quarter.

Council cabinet member Richard Dungworth stressed the move was only an option at the moment but said money needed to be saved.

"We are in a different financial situation (to when the Haven opened), we have to look at the running costs," he said.

"When we are having our budgets cut and prices are going up, we have to think about what is the best value for money and what gives the best service to the people of Boston."

The council said a full senior management restructuring last September and controls on staff recruitment would also deliver sizeable future savings.

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