Saturday, 12 February 2011

Even More Cash for the Gardens

A local journalist has managed to squeeze an answer from the supposedly 'cash-strapped' Carmarthenshire Council as to the amount it is now dishing out to the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Bearing in mind the forthcoming frontline cuts it is quite unbelievable that the continuing bail-out will be doubled for the next three years from £30,000 per year to £60,000. 
As I said before I hope, for Wales, that the garden eventually succeeds and stands on it's own financial feet, but I wonder if there are any other tourist attractions in the county which enjoy such generous, and endless, public handouts despite failing financially, and continuously, for 11 years? It was only three weeks ago that I asked the current Director of the Garden, on the Radio Wales phone-in if a "guarantee could be given that the garden will not need bailing out again in near future with taxpayers money?" With a little laugh and a bit of PR rambling, she couldn't rule it out. Obviously not! It also looks like the annual £500,000 from the Welsh Assembly will be increasing, this follows on from yet another urgent review into the governance of this £43m 'risky project'. The Garden made much of the fact that it had a 'record breaking' 13,000 visitors in January - perhaps that was because entry was free for the entire month?

The Welsh Assembly is giving the garden £800,000 this year, following a review which decided, surprise surprise, that it needed more public money.

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