Decision to award cash to museum under fire

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A ROW has erupted over whether to grant £100,000 of public cash towards a popular museum.

The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, near Chichester, was set to benefit from West Sussex County Council’s Kickstart fund, which aims to invest in projects that contribute to the local economy.

However, Labour councillors have reacted with fury, saying the museum should not be getting the money.

Michael Jones, a Labour county councillor, said: ‘The Tory county council is prioritising money to effectively subsidise local businesses and boost their profits, when at the same time they are slashing spending on front-line services they are legally obliged to provide.’

Council leader Louise Goldsmith and cabinet member for finance Michael Brown met museum representatives before agreeing the funding in December.

The museum was awarded £4m by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the revamp, including a new restaurant and learning space.