Question: What does an inch-long metal pig, buried in Bosworth mud for 500 years, have in common with the global financial crisis?
Answer: Together they’re making Leicestershire’s cultural offer more enterprising and sustainable.
In 2011, the tough financial environment meant Leicestershire County Council (LCC ) had to plan for 40% budget cuts in its Library, Heritage and Arts service. Councillors and officers were not keen simply to scale back libraries, arts activities and museums, which include the impressive Bosworth Battlefield and Snibston Discovery Museum. Alongside necessary belt tightening, they asked themselves whether there was a way of generating more income.
The 500 year old Bosworth Boar, with other Bosworth Battlefield assets, showed the way. The Bosworth team increased revenue by £40k in 6 months by bringing new focus to existing products and services, including replicas of the Boar and bespoke visitor packages. But this was just the start.
Councillor David Sprason, Cabinet member for Adults and Communities, said, “We realised that the service could do more. What the tough financial conditions enabled us to do was to approach things differently. Our partners, Black Radley, encouraged us to start by being enterprising – by doing rather than planning. They got us to focus on Bosworth, on the hidden potential in the people and products. It worked. And when our people saw what was possible, it was like a light being turned on.”
Black Radley’s initial work built on ideas and energy already present in the Communities and Wellbeing service in Leicestershire. Bosworth’s early financial success has demonstrated that it can and should be treated as entirely complementary to the public service ethos. With Black Radley’s help, LCC are now restructuring the service to bring a powerful enterprise dimension to what they do, and reframing their performance management processes so that success is defined in terms of both customer satisfaction and financial margin, ensuring a more sustainable and resilient future for the service.
Councillor Dave Houseman, Cabinet support member for the service, said, “I think some people were worried that there would be a ruthless obsession with cash. In practice, what we have seen is that, by bringing a balanced approach to financial and public service imperatives, we will improve customer service and strengthen our performance under both headings. It’s win-win.”
Black Radley Culture delivers a tried and tested enterprise model for the museums sector. This unique product enables museums to diversify their funding base, creating more income opportunities and maximising the opportunities provided by their collections and buildings.
Further Details – Please contact
Managing Director – Black Radley Culture
Tel: 0845-226-0363 Mob: 07854 077222