Admission fees to Norfolk’s council-owned museums, including Norwich Castle, could be reduced and even scrapped at set times during the day, according to a new report.

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And a review of the charges for the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology (NMAS) service’s 10 sites is being pushed as a matter of urgency for the service’s new boss, who is due to take up the post next year.

The current charges, which sees adults pay up to £6.80 to visit Norwich Castle and £9.10 for Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, are viewed by a new Norfolk County Council report as putting people off from visiting and adds it makes a “relatively small contribution” to the service’s budget.

All 10 of the NMAS’s attractions should also aspire to be open seven days a week, with the current opening times criticised as “erratic and confusing” by the in-depth review into the service.

Staff and museum officials in Lincoln, Hull and Colchester were among those spoken to during the review, which has put forward 21 recommendations for NMAS.

They also include exploring all options to allow people to hire NMAS buildings and reviewing arrangements and facilities for school visits, to ensure they are fit for purpose in giving a positive experience to children and other visitors.

The report also notes evidence that some members of the service’s staff feel management do not always welcome their views and concerns, and that some staff have felt “intimidated by management”.

The document adds the councillors have “no way of knowing if this is widespread”.

Labour group leader George Nobbs, chairman of the Norfolk County Council cabinet working group responsible for the review, said there was much to “celebrate and admire” but they have found many improvements can be made.

Mr Nobbs said: “We feel that we owe it to the previous generations of individuals, who gave so freely to their local museums in the expectation that the collections would be for all the people of their local community, and to the pioneering local councils who provided vital funds in the early days that we speak frankly now when making our recommendations.”

NMAS’s attractions also include: the Bridewell Museum, in Norwich, Strangers’ Hall, in Norwich, Lynn Museum, the Elizabethan House Museum, in Great Yarmouth, Time and Tide in Great Yarmouth, The Tolhouse, in Great Yarmouth, Cromer Museum and The Ancient House, Thetford.

Barry Stone, Conservative cabinet member for cultural services, said he welcomed the report’s comments and further talks would take place before final recommendations were put forward.

6 comments

  • As a PS I thought there were a total of 12 sites not 10.

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    BG

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • I wanted to take my children to Norwich Castle Museum for some time but the fees meant I could not afford it. A couple of years ago they did a promotion where, with vouchers from the EDP, I got me and the children in at a drastically reduced rate. This is the only way I could afford to go. I am looking forward for a similar deal for Gressenhall!!!

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    outspoken

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Education should be free ! It was years ago ! Greed rears its ugly head again !

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    Stop Press

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Museums in Norwich should be FREE ADMISSION Full Stop

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    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Education should be free ! It was years ago ! Greed rears its ugly head again !

    Report this comment

    Stop Press

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

  • Can I suggest touching up father xmas for a family pass which lasts a year. It costs £73.50 for a family of four and my daughter`s family gives it a right caning throughout the year. It gets you into all Norfolk museums plus a discount on food and purchases. Brilliant idea and what fantastic value. The kids absolutely love it. Can`t think of a more useful present.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

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