More Local Authority Museums Revert to Trust Status

Museum Insurance
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  • Posted by: Castleacre

The Museums Association, have reported that government funding cuts are leading to more local government museums opting for trust status. Geraldine Kendall, reporting in the May edition of the Museum’s Journal says ‘Trust status has come to represent a lifeline for struggling museums….’ , she argues that there are ‘many intangible benefits to being in a trust: less bureaucracy; greater scope for entrepreneurialism and flexibility; and the freedom to make quicker decisions…’ But trust status brings serious additional personal responsibilities for trustees particularly in terms of potential liabilities  – Hugo Johnsen,  Museum Director, Castleacre Insurance says ‘ there is no doubt that converting to a trust can inject new vitality into collection management and deliver cost savings in some instances, but many trustees are not aware, particularly if they have served on a local government board, that trust status means as trustees become personally vulnerable to liability or mismanagement claims – the increase in trusts has increased the need for robust indemnity policies that protect trustee members against all eventualities.

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