Decision details

Heritage Services Business Plan 2019-2024

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The report introduces the fourth update of the Heritage Services rolling five-year Business Plan 2015-2020 approved by Cabinet in February 2015.


RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:


1)  Approve the Heritage Services Business Plan 2019-2024 (“The Plan”);

2)  Confirm that it wishes Heritage Services to continue to work to the business principles agreed by the Council Executive in 2004, as amended.

Reasons for the decision:

Heritage Services operates as a business unit, with annual profit targets and investment levels agreed corporately on a rolling basis. The business strategy to achieve these targets is detailed in its Business Plan which is reviewed and revised each year. The Plan provides a fully integrated approach to income generation and the investment necessary to achieve it, and is aligned with the Council's corporate aims and objectives.

In 2010 the Audit Commission commended Heritage Services for its achievements in value-for-money and for the business systems that enable these to be made as part of their assessment of the Council's ‘Use of Resources’.A review of governance by the Council’s internal audit service in 2013/14 rated the current arrangements as ‘excellent’ and during 2018 an audit of ‘Financial Reporting & Monitoring’ within the Service also gave an ‘excellent’ rating.

The annual ALVA financial benchmarking confirms that the Service delivers top quartile productivity, efficiency and profitability when making sector comparisons.

Alternative options considered:

The process of revising and updating the Business Plan has involved consideration of a number of different pricing, marketing and investment options. The financial and business effects of these options were modelled and evaluated. The business strategy attached recommends a coherent and integrated series of decisions that are most likely to enable the Service to meet the targets required of it by the Financial Plan and sustain this level of performance in future years.

Another option would be for Heritage Services to cease functioning along the business lines of the past twelve years and return to being a conventional local authority museum service. The absence of investment would lead to a loss of focus and competitiveness and result in falling revenues to the Council. This course of action is not recommended.

Report author: Stephen Bird

Publication date: 06/02/2019

Date of decision: 06/02/2019

Decided at meeting: 06/02/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 14/02/2019

Accompanying Documents: