Wednesday, 29 May 2013

City Council asks County to purchase Viking "Silverdale Hoard"

Part of the Silverdale Hoard
Lancaster City Council’s Cabinet has agreed to ask Lancashire County Council to secure an important collection of Viking treasure for the county.

Known as the Silverdale Hoard, the collection of coins and jewellery was found near to Silverdale in September 2011 by a metal detector enthusiast and has been valued at £109,815.

Both Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council can purchase the hoard as ‘accredited museums’, but the county council has more considerable level of experience and expertise and currently runs Lancaster’s museums.

Cabinet agreed to request that the county council purchases the hoard and secures it for the people of Lancashire.

The city council will make a contribution, however, in the form of the £20,000 acquisitions budget which forms part of the annual management fee paid to the county council to run its local museums.

Councillor Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “By taking this decision the city council is helping to ensure that the hoard remains within Lancashire and demonstrates the commitment of both councils to the cultural heritage of the district.”

Other options available for Cabinet would have been for the city council to purchase the hoard, or for a joint purchase with each council funding parts of the costs.

However, given the costs associated with purchasing the hoard, which would also include conservation and display, Cabinet decided that purchase by the city council alone is unaffordable in the long term.

These longer term costs include a one-off cost of £130,000, which would be in addition to the purchase cost. Additional costs include re-interpretation and redisplay and vary between an extra £48,000 to £655,000.

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