A quarter fewer are visiting park museum

Dewsbury Museum, Crow Nest Park. (d23081122)
Dewsbury Museum, Crow Nest Park. (d23081122)

Dewsbury Museum has suffered a 25 per cent drop in visitor numbers.

The museum, in Crow Nest Park, Heckmondwike Road, had 21,896 visitors between May 2012 and April 2013 compared with 29.572 between May 2011 and April 2012.

Kirklees Council’s development and environment scrutiny panel met yesterday to discuss how to bring numbers back up.

Officers have blamed the drop on reduced opening hours, the introduction of an entry fee and bad weather during summer 2012.

Museums and galleries manager Richard Butterfield said: “Reduced opening hours counts for part of the reduction but it was also associated with the poor weather last summer and the fact certain major events had to be cancelled.

“Last summer there were the Olympics, the Queen’s Jubilee and Euro 2012.”

At yesterday’s meeting councillors were expected to agree measures including putting on activities, chargeable events, developing museum shops and catering and licensing products based on images from Kirklees’ collection.

Officers stated a drop in visitor numbers across all museums was ‘a cause for concern’.

Coun Darren O’Donovan (Lab, Dewsbury West) said funding cuts had led to reduced opening hours and a fall in numbers. He added: “This year the park was awarded the green flag for high standards. The Friends group has worked tremendously hard to secure a heritage lottery grant to renovate the lake area. We are fully committed to the museum and park.”