Aberdeenshire Council has announced today that it is to review how Duff House in Banff operates and will discuss proposals with employees this week.
Duff House is operated through a unique partnership between Aberdeenshire Council, Historic Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland. Aberdeenshire Council is responsible for the operational costs of running the House, including management and staffing costs and agreed as part of the Council’s budget in November 2010 to review the costs in light of the financial restraints being imposed on the public sector.
Duff House does not make enough money to cover its costs each year, with deficit funding paid by the council.
The proposals focus on an enhanced offering during the summer months, with visitors being guided round the House, providing a better opportunity for visitors to learn about the history of Duff House and the paintings that are on display from the national collection. Also include in the proposal is a move into seasonal opening, which would result in the House being closed during the quiet winter months which, in recent years, has seen visitor numbers declining. Reducing management and administrative staffing and altering the roles of staff so that they can be deployed more flexibly are also being proposed
One-off events such as Christmas promotions, weddings and lectures would continue to be staged provided staff cover can be arranged.
There would also be a greater focus on education and outreach work, and better marketing.
The proposals which are expected to save the council £88,000 a year have been discussed with the partners who appreciate the need for the council to deliver savings.
The staff consultation ends on 7th September, at which time, staff comments will be considered before any changes are implemented.