Feeds

Science facing funding crisis, MPs warn

VAT discounts could help

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Educational science centres are facing a funding crisis, a group of MPs has warned in a new report.

The Science and Technology Select Committee (STSC) is calling on the government to intervene and provide centres with a short-term cash boost to keep them going. It also suggests that "steps are taken" to reduce the tax burden such centres face.

The problem is that there simply isn't a huge market for educational science, and once the initial period of funding runs out, the centres can't pay their own way. The report found that most struggle to raise even 80 per cent of their running costs.

Some facilities have already closed, including Doncaster's Earth Centre and Aurshire's Big Idea. Both had been funded by the Millennium Commission, which made £450m available to science centres across the country.

Not all science centres are a financial washout: for example, The Eden project in Cornwall has been a resounding success. But other attractions have fared less well. For example: At-Bristol, another science centre, has closed two of its three exhibitions and had to lay off 45 staff.

The STSC says it is not advocating long-term and continuing government support for centres that are "failing", but wants a short-term cash injection to see centres stay open long enough for their value to be properly assessed.

It also argues that the centres' VAT obligation ought to be reduced, and proposes that successful centres could be given subsidies, in the same way as museums are given support from the public purse.

You can read the report here. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.