Aerospace museum to get £470,000 council bail-out
A museum in South Gloucestershire dedicated to the aviation industry is to get a council bail-out of £470,000.
Aerospace Bristol, which is the home of the last Concorde to fly in the UK has been hit by the pandemic and cost of living crisis.
The museum was built at the former airfield in Filton where Concorde was conceived and built.
The local authority has agreed to the bail out to avoid the risk of insolvency at the attraction which took years to get off the ground.
The council has agreed to use up to £316,000 of new government cash to write off part of the interest and capital repayments of a 10-year loan it has with Bristol Aerospace Collection Trust.
The authority’s chief financial officer Nina Philippidis said: “Since reopening, the museum has been impacted by the cost-of-living crisis with reducing discretionary income and rising utility and interest costs.
“Over the past few months, the museum has fundamentally reviewed its operating structure to work within a reduced cost envelope whilst looking to improve the offer made to visitors and schools.
“Visitor numbers are comparing well to national benchmarking with growing numbers and a growing community offering. The core business is financially viable, however surpluses are likely to be insufficient over the coming years to cover the annual loan repayments and rapidly rising interest charges.
“The museum has also seen a drop in school visits compared to pre-pandemic levels reflecting reduced school budgets and growing costs of travel. This trend is not anticipated to reverse in the near time which will see reduced numbers of school children accessing the STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] outreach work of the museum.”