The future of Waalres Museum is at risk

The future of the Waalres Museum is at risk due to municipal budget cuts
Photo credit: CDA Waalre/Studio040

The future of Waalres Museum in Waalre is extremely uncertain, now that the municipal council has proposed stopping the subsidy. According to the Mayor and Aldermen, it is no longer responsible – at a time when the municipality has to make significant cuts – to allocate €85,000 annually for the private initiative.

The bottom of the municipal treasury has been reached, according to councillor Kees Vortman. “So it is not a matter of us not granting it to the museum, but there is simply no money. Explosive increases in costs, especially in the ‘social domain’ (WMO, (social support law) and youth care), are forcing Waalre to take tough measures. The municipal council is clear: plans that have been budgeted are being implemented. New ambitions that have not yet been financially solidified are – at a minimum – shelved.

During the so-called assessment meeting, the municipal council appeared to be quite divided about the options for continuing to support Waalres Museum financially. D66 (democrats) and AWB (Aalst Waalre interest) emphasised the social importance and would like to investigate whether there is still a ‘potential’ in the Kadernota (framework note) to preserve the cultural heritage of Waalre. Hence the proposal to make a decision on 2 July – after the Kadernota has been discussed.


The rest of the council could agree to this, but VVD (people’s party for freedom and democracy) Groen Links (green left party), ZW’14 (independent Waalre) were skeptical about the future of the museum. Daan Damen (VVD): “A careful process has been followed and of course the potential of the museum is visible. At the same time, we are in financially difficult times and in our opinion €85,000 per year is structurally unrealistic”.

Groen Links (Krista Wessel) was slightly milder, but the message was clear: “With pain in our hearts, but we are in favour of the council’s proposal”. Ad Dams from ZW’14 also called the possible disappearance of the museum ‘a pity’, but he recognised the need to make cuts. PvdA (labour party) member Gerard Lammers was even more certain: “We simply do not believe in the viability of Waalres Museum”.

CDA (christian democrats) spokesperson Remco van Oosterom admitted to being somewhat ‘in love’ with the museum, but acknowledged that his party also sees no opportunities to implement ‘Waalres Museum’ business case. “We would like to see whether a plan B can be realised, in which the museum will receive another €10,000 until 2025. But beyond that, it will be a difficult story – also as far as we are concerned”.


Councillor Vortman emphasised that the council did not make its decision overnight. “What is it worth to the council to have a museum in Waalre?”, he wondered out loud. “We have not found the necessary money so far. Moreover, the museum board is the owner of the building and the collection. So we can only decide on a possible subsidy. Not on the continued existence of the museum”.
To gain some ‘extra time’, the council subsequently decided – at the request of chairman Jo Claessen – not to make a decision on the cutback proposals until 2 July. However, if there are no more financial options available in the Kadernota, a subsidy for Waalres Museum seems hopeless in advance.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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