Agenda item

The Novium Museum

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee is requested to consider the agenda report and to make the following resolution and the recommendation to the Cabinet:




That the the progress made on the procurement project for the management of the Novium Museum and Tourist Information Services be noted.




That the Cabinet approves the proposal in paras 5.1 and 5.2 of the agenda report.


This item was presented by Mrs Peyman.


Mrs Peyman summarised the report with particular reference to sections 3, 5 and 6. She described the main aspects of the options appraisal process and explained that option 3 was preferred.


The Committee received answers to questions including the following:


·       Were any alternatives considered other than those outlined in paragraph 3.2 of the report? Consideration was also given to altering the Novium building or seeking an alternative use for the building.

  • With regard to the business plan has consideration been given to extending the café and changing displays on a more regular basis? Officers are considering possible ways to improve the café offer. The new manager has also been working on a two year exhibition programme including a new games exhibition and a number of rolling local and national exhibitions.
  • Please provide details of the costs of each option. The business plan detailing the costings will be available to members in October.
  • What level of tourism does the museum generate for the visitor economy compared to the gallery and theatre? Current tourism figures are not available solely for the museum so a direct comparison with the gallery and the theatre is difficult however, it is estimated that the Tim Peake exhibition saw approximately 50,000 visitors to the city. (Please also refer to the post meeting note.)
  • Could the gallery and museum be merged? A possible merger has been explored but was not taken forward.
  • What are the main areas of expense for the museum? A large proportion of funding is spent on staffing, building costs, repairs, maintenance, exhibitions and marketing for the museum and Guildhall.
  • How does the museum generate income? The museum generates income from workshops, talks, lectures, grant funding and donations with work underway to enable contactless donations. Local partners and businesses continue to be approached for sponsorship support. Roman Week was very successful with 2,000 visitors to Priory Park. A partnership is also in place with the theatre for the production of the David Walliams play ‘The Midnight Gang’.


Members also suggested the following improvements:


·       Additional dressing up clothes for children

  • Provision of an evening or pop-up restaurant
  • A greater use of the Roman connection such as provision of a glass floor/viewing platform
  • Utilising Boxgrove artefacts for a future exhibition
  • Installing a greater number of displays on the walls including mosaics


Mrs Peyman explained that a number of these suggestions had already been considered however she would pass on the idea of utilising the Boxgrove artefacts to the museum manager.




1.     That the progress made on the procurement project for the management of the Novium Museum and Tourist Information Services be noted.

  1. That the Committee be provided with a progress update at its meeting in November 2018.




That the Cabinet approves the proposal set out in paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2 of the agenda report.


Post meeting note


With reference to the question relating to the visitor economy Mrs Peyman provided the following information below:


(Details contained on page 17 of the TSE Research document ‘The Visitor Economy of Chichester – Building the evidence base, September 2016’)


Economic impact of city attractions

3.3.1 There are 54 visitor attractions across the District, and 17 of these are based in the City/PO19 area. The main city centre based attractions are Chichester Cathedral, Festival Theatre, Pallant House, and The Novium.
3.3.2 A study of the economic impact of these attractions on the economy show that together these attractions generate £15.7 million annually for businesses across the City, District and the wider region.

Table 13: Economic impact of city attractions




Pallant House

The Novium








Wider district and region












FTE jobs












Wider district and region













A full copy of the report can be found on the council’s website at the following link:

Supporting documents: