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Decision details

CSHHAT-03-18: Archaeology Store

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Housing, Corporate Services, Arts, Heritage and Tourism

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To recommend that the Cabinet Member for Heritage make the decision to:


1) Approve the grant of £75,000 to Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum Trust towards the cost of purchasing a property for an Archaeology Store to store and make publicly accessible archaeological finds and archives relating to the county of Wiltshire and for the people of Wiltshire.  1


2) Delegate authority to Laurie Bell, Associate Director Communities and Communications to conclude all necessary formalities relating to the grant funding including the authority to enter into the related Grant Agreement on behalf of the Council and to secure the grant funding by way of a First Legal Charge on the property.


I approve the decisions set out in the attached report


This decision was published on 19 December 2018  and will come into force on 31 December 2018


Reasons for the decision:

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum Trust (Salisbury Museum) has been urgently looking for a facility to house archaeological finds and archives generated by developer funded excavations – in particular those produced by Wessex Archaeology. Salisbury Museum also needs to store a significant amount of archaeological material and other museum collections off site to enable the museum to move forward with major redevelopment plans to enhance the tourism potential of the museum.


In line with the National Planning Policy Framework, where a potential development could impact on archaeology in an area, the Local Authority acting as Planning Authority may be under a duty to impose obligations on the developer in respect of archaeological heritage. These planning obligations may require the developer to commission a study of the site and make its finding available to the public. The developer is then required to deposit the resultant finds and archives with a museum.  A county archaeology store will therefore enable the developers to discharge their duties under NPPF without putting additional strain on the museums. The payment of one-off box fees by developers or their archaeological contractors directly to museums is current practice and widely accepted. The need for storage to house archives resulting from development in Wiltshire has been recognized by the Council as part of its Core Strategy (ref. Wiltshire Core Strategy, Infrastructure Delivery Plan, IDP2 WC015, Appendix A Wiltshire Strategic, Regional and General, 2011-2016) and in the Stonehenge – Avebury World Heritage Site Management Plan, 2015-2021. Having identified the issues, Wiltshire Council is seeking to mitigate these through its capital programme and continued partnership work with local museums to enhance the understanding of our heritage, engage wider audiences and facilitate growth of the local tourist economy.


Salisbury Museum has identified and purchased a property, Unit 7 Hurricane close, Old Sarum, Salisbury, suitable for its need. The property was purchased for £125,000 freehold. Salisbury Museum has secured some matched funding for the purchase, but requires additional funds. It has a robust business model to fit out, manage and provide access to the store (Collections Resource Centre). Wiltshire Council intends to register a land charge on the property to ensure grant monies are recovered should use of the property change or receives a share of net proceeds at full market value should the property subsequently be let or sold.

Alternative options considered:

1)    To Grant fund an independent accredited museum towards the purchase of a property suitable for the storage and public access of archaeological finds and archives on behalf of all museums in the county and the people of Wiltshire.

2)    Wiltshire Council to provide and maintain an archaeology store, taking on staffing and running costs.

3)    Persist with the status quo

Publication date: 05/12/2018

Date of decision: 19/12/2018

Effective from: 31/12/2018

Accompanying Documents:




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