Museum curator Barry Littlewood says:
"The admission charge was first lifted in March 1998 and in the first twelve
months our attendances totalled 163,000 compared to the average of 64,000.
"We have forecast a figure of 125,000 for this second twelve months but we could
The increased number of visitors to the Hales Street premises has brought the museum
designated status installing it as one of the top 43 establishments of
Now the museum wants to break free of city council control and operate under a grant
system in the same manner as The Belgrade Theatre 500 yards away.
"We want to become an independent trust," says Mr Littlewood. "That way
we would have to operate tightly within a grant from the city council and we are confident
we can do that.
"It has been calculated that the local economy benefits by £3 million just by the
museum being here. There are other contributions which do not bring commercial benefits
but which inject an enormous amount into community life.
"We supply vehicles for local businesses, carnivals and public relations purposes
and a huge range of other things which help to support the social fabric of this great
Mr Littlewood has long term aspirations for the museum, which will have a sparkling new
entrance onto the planned new Millennium Boulevard.
"We have a long term strategy," he explains. "We want to be more
hard-nosed about what items we accept for the museum and we want to tell the great success
stories of transport in Coventry.
"I travel all over and I can tell you this city is better than a lot of people
give it credit for. We have a lot to offer here.
"What Coventry does today the rest of the world does tomorrow. The Government is
already intent on bringing back free admission in the great museums of London on the
principle of access for all."