To consider the Curator’s quarterly report.
The Curator presented her quarterly report and apologised that it had not been circulated sooner.
She highlighted the following:-
· The museum was currently open Thursday to Sunday on reduced hours. This was because of the need for additional cleaning to take place, and to allow for recruitment and training of volunteers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
· Online booking was available but due to capacity visitors had also been able to buy tickets at the door.
· There were training issues for current volunteers on the new cashless payment system and the need for further recruitment.
· As soon as new volunteers were in place and trained the museum would open to extended days starting from Tuesday rather than Thursday.
· The Museum agreed to administer bookings for the Castle, major events had to be checked to see if the Scheduled Monuments Consent applied.
· Visitor figures had been circulated, there were 532 visitors since the 20th May, which included 100 school children through school visits.
· Tickets purchased on line were 85 in May and 85 in June.
· Walk up visitor tickets were 87 in May and 275 in June.
· Income from the shop, admission, donations box and a £60 fee from a talk, totalled £1350.
· An extra £378 was generated from learning services.
In response to a question from the Chair the Curator said that volunteers had left for a number of reasons mainly due to re-organising their priorities after the pandemic and for a small number concern about using the digital technology.
The Curator said that two new volunteers had been recruited, one more was due to be interviewed and there were a further two in the pipeline.
The Chair suggested that requests for volunteers could be put into the Stansted Link. The Curator offered to provide some text.
The Curator said she hoped to extend the hours to 10am – 5pm after the 19th July 2021.
In response to a question from Councillor Freeman the Chairman of the Museum said that they had actioned a number of talks on zoom and would continue to do so. The Chair asked if this could be communicated to Democratic Services and added to the Members Bulletin.
The Curator said she would be taking bookings for hire of the Castle and grounds for private and public events, but the Museum did not have the resources to run and organise events on behalf of hirers.
Councillor Freeman suggested that open air Shakespeare plays would be a good use of the Castle grounds.
The Curator said the Pantaloons had been due to perform Shakespeare at the Castle for free in an experimental run, which was unfortunately cancelled due to the pandemic. The Curator said she would get back in touch with them.
Councillor Armstrong said he supported ideas that meant local facilities were used and more people came to the area from outside of the district. He said it was important to consider the whole of the district.
Councillor Gregory said that Councillor Reeve had a budget for economic development which could be used to spread events through the district especially into Stansted Mountfitchet and Thaxted.