A proposal to trial charging for certain exhibitions at RAMM will go before members of Exeter City Council’s Scrutiny Economy Committee on 12 November.
This will be a first for RAMM and is a result of funding cuts council budgets that have seen museums and heritage attractions continue find new ways to generate income.
In the city wide ‘Stronger Exeter’ survey which took place in autumn 2014 as part of the City Council’s budget consultation, 56 per cent of people taking part felt that charging for some temporary exhibitions should be considered.
In the new trial, 90 per cent of the museum would still be available to enjoy free of charge, while some temporary exhibitions would be charged for, starting with the International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition which opens on 23 April.
“RAMM is a fantastic resource for residents and visitors to Exeter. It’s a place for learning, contemplation, socialising and leisure,” said Coun Rosie Denham, Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture. “RAMM’s collections are a valuable part of our heritage, and the exhibitions feature an exciting range of local, national and internationally recognised artists. We’d love to be able to continue to provide all of this with no charge, but in the current financial climate, it’s vital that we look at ways of sustaining RAMM so that it’s still there for future generations to enjoy.”
The council will be monitoring visitor numbers and asking people about their thoughts and experiences of the trial as it is rolled out. In addition the council says it has been careful to make the cost of the tickets reasonable and hopes that visitors will see the charge as a valuable contribution to the museum.
The International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition runs from 23 April to 28 August 2016. Funds generated from ticket sales would contribute to future exhibitions, activities, events, conservation work and outreach work.
If the proposal goes through, tickets for the International Garden Photographer of the Year will be £4 with a charge of £2 for concessions and entry will be free for under 19s.