Anstruther Fisheries Museum weathers storm

The Reaper, Anstruther.
The Reaper, Anstruther.
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The multi award-winning Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther has held steady and continued to ride the economic storm, despite reductions in its funding as it faced up to the difficult financial climate.

Speaking at the 39th annual conference, incorporating the 44th annual general meeting, Dr David Corner, chairman of the trustees, delivered an upbeat message.

The former deputy principal of St Andrews University said that the museum - it tells the story of fishing in Scotland and its people from earliest times to the present - had “celebrated a very good year.”

Speaking to the Citizen, he added: ”It has made the necessary financial and operational changes to allow it to cope with the cuts in central and local governmental funding, which currently present challenges to all like institutions, and can look forward to a secure future.

“It has, unlike many other attractions, maintained visitor numbers. It has retained its 4* VisitScotland rating. It has, moreover, begun to formulate plans, to be announced towards the end of 2012, for significant capital projects which will allow the museum - with the help of its staff, volunteers, members and sponsors - to be a national institution of which Anstruther, Fife and Scotland can be even more proud.”

In his annual report, Dr Corner paid warm tributes to the museum staff, trustees, volunteers, partners, friends and supporters.

Museum director, Simon Hayhow, said that visitor numbers during the year under review - to October 31, 2011 - were slightly up through the facility’s front door at almost 89,000, while visitors to the museum totalled 14,287, a very small reduction.

However, he added: ”The 2012 season has started well and we are already 10 per cent up. The museum has various initiatives under way with regard to future developments, marketing and communication which we hope will increase visitor figures further over the next few years.

“These include a new website in production, signage and improvements to the courtyard and education facilities. The museum is looking at developing fundraising initiatives to help finance these improvements,”

Admission income received during the year dropped to £46,707 compared with £51,278, while internally-generated income also fell slightly with shop sales of £50,358 (£51,013) and tearoom sales of £71,892 (£72,181). However, non-recurrent grant income increased to £74,378 (£51,592), while total costs were just over £9000 lower than the previous year.