£150k loan to help museum’s cash shortfall

Ryedale Folk Museum''132201a

Ryedale Folk Museum''132201a

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Up to £150,000 of tax payers’ money is to be given to Ryedale Folk Museum to help it meet a “projected shortfall” in its cash flow.

Ryedale District Council (RDC) made the decision to support the Hutton-le-Hole attraction during its meeting earlier this month.

However, the loan, which will be split into two payments of up to £75,000, comes with caveats attached.

The authority is asking for a councillor to be elected to the trustee board of the museum to “minimise the amount loaned by RDC and reduce financial risk.”

Among the other conditions requested are “immediate” action to fundraise, the appointment of financial advisors to develop accounting procedures, hiring external marketing support to increase visitor numbers and launching an organisational review, leading to a long-term business plan.

The first pot of money will be given immediately with the remaining £75,000 to be presented following a review of the progress made by the museum in the 2014/15 financial year.

Figures revealed at the meeting said that the museum had seen a drop in visitor numbers over the past five years. In 2008, the museum had welcomed 40,000 visitors through its doors, dropping to 26,000 in 2013.

A spokesman for the museum declined to comment as they did not wish to compromise the processes of RDC.

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