VISITORS will now have to pay more to access the D-Day Museum after the city council upped its entry fee.
The tourist attraction in Clarence Esplanade is currently undergoing a £5m transformation with the aim to re-open next Spring.
Funds for the revamp came from the Heritage Lottery Fund who allocated the millions based on the council’s business plan for the much-loved site.
Now, with transformation work underway, the council has decided to up the entrance fee as it bids to meet the income targets of its business plan.
Adults will now have to pay £10 to enter (an increase of 47 per cent from £6.80), seniors will be now be charged £8 and disabled adult and senior visitors (who previously got in for free) will have to now pay £8 and £6.40 respectively – although a friend or carer of the visitor will get in for free.
However, all adult and child tickets can be converted to an annual pass for £2 and £1 extra respectively.
Councillor Linda Symes, cabinet member for culture, who made the decision at a meeting on Friday said: ‘When we made the decision, we felt that by charging that amount of money for entry, we would be able to discount the tickets better.
‘At the prices, we were charging before, it would not have been possible to discount them.
‘In my eyes, I think it is a very good deal really, especially when it only costs £25 by a family ticket.’
The Tory councillor added that she had been mightily impressed by the plans for the museum, praising the switch to focus the attraction around the stories of the people involved in D-Day rather than the event itself.
She said: ‘The fact that it is going to be about the people rather then the event so much is a good thing
‘You have got to be able to adapt it over time and the stories of the people are much more important.’
New additions to the pricing structure also include a family ticket of £25 – which covers two adults and up to three children.
Second World War veterans will still get in for free but schools managed by the council, who previously got in for free, will now have to pay £3.65.
Stephen Baily, director of culture at the council, had outlined the reasons for the increase in a report ahead of the meeting.
He said: ‘The existing fees and charges will not reflect the quality of the offer at the new D-Day museum.’
The director also added that the museum service no longer received funding direct from the council’s education services to ensure free entry to the council-owned museums.
All of the museum’s 500 artefacts have been stored away as the building undergoes its new makeover.