BOROUGH MP Andrew Miller says he is keeping up the pressure on the Government to safeguard the future of the National Waterways Museum.
He has spoken with Culture Secretary Margaret Hodge about the impact of the Government’s scheme to ensure all non- private museums are now free to enter.
While there is no specific worry over the boat museum, there has been a national downturn in attendance at similar facilities which also charge an entry fee.
The tourist attraction – previously called the Boat Museum – charges £8.50 for an adult ticket. It is managed by the National Waterways Museum which also has facilities in Gloucester and Stoke Bruerne, Northamptonshire.
Mr Miller told Mrs Hodge in a Parliamentary debate: “I have already raised with the previous Secretary of State, James Purnell, the problems that have occurred as a result of the wonderful success of the free entry programme.
“The programme has caused problems for museums such as the National Waterways Museum in my constituency.
“He made a very positive statement in relation to the work of the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council. Can the Minister give us a progress report and tell us when we will see some positive evidence of delivery to help my museum?”
Mrs Hodge replied: “I am aware of the problems relating to the National Waterways Museum, and I know the previous Secretary of State met representatives from the museum early in his tenure to discuss them.
“The truth is that it will be extremely difficult for us, given the budget constraints, to introduce new museums into the national family eligible for free admission.
“I am happy to meet Mr Miller and any others he wants to bring along to discuss alternative funding sources to ensure the continuation of that valuable museum resource in his constituency.”