Cabinet discusses opening hours of Buxton Museum and Derbyshire Record Office

14 March 2017

Opening hours are set to be changed at Derbyshire Record Office and a consultation on changes at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is set to begin.

Our Cabinet today (March 14) agreed to reduced opening hours at Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock following public consultation. Cabinet also agreed to consult on a proposal to reduce opening hours at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.

The six-week consultation on reducing Derbyshire Record Office's opening hours, from 41 to 30 hours a week, took place in autumn last year.

People were asked to consider three options for cutting opening hours in order to save up to £125,000. Similar reductions across many of our services are being made because funding given to us by central Government is being cut.

Derbyshire Record Office is currently open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm and every Saturday from 9.30pm to 1pm. Three options were proposed, in which the record office would close on either Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays. Most respondents preferred a Monday closure.

Each option offered the last Saturday in each month open from 9.30am to 1pm. Some respondents expressed concern about reduced access on Saturdays. With that in mind, the record office will now open on the last Saturday in each month from 9.30am to 4pm, instead of 1pm.

To mitigate the changes it is also increasing the number of records available online for people who can't visit in person.

The regulatory body for archive services, The National Archives, was consulted and acknowledged the changes were well-planned and based on evidence and consultation.

The changes will begin on 1 June.

Cabinet has also approved a plan to consult the public on proposed changes to the opening hours at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.

We'll launch a six-week consultation between April and June into proposals to reduce the opening hours from 39.5 to 35 hours a week.

Following the consultation the changes, if made as proposed, would save about £30,000 a year.

Currently the museum and art gallery is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm Tuesday to Friday, and until 5pm on Saturday. It also opens from 10.30am to 5pm on Sundays and bank holidays from Easter to the end of September.

It is proposed to open from 10am to 5pm on Tuesday to Saturday and from 12pm to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays from Easter to the end of September.

It is anticipated that the results of the consultation will be reported to Cabinet in September.

The proposal is another measure we've had to consider so that we can meet our target for budget reductions, as central Government funding continues to be cut.

Cabinet member for Health and Communities, Councillor Dave Allen, said:

"The shortfall in our budget, caused by the scale of Government cuts, means we have no choice but to reduce spending in some areas. We do all we can do protect services in the best way possible by consulting with the people who use those services."

Councillor Allen added:

"The shorter opening hours proposed for Buxton Museum and Art Gallery will be mitigated by significant improvements in 24-hour digital access to its collections. When open, the museum will also display more objects and more information about them."

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