tavistock Town Council is looking at increasing its financial support for the Guildhall Gateway Centre as it works out its budget from April next year.

Preliminary papers for drawing up the 2022/23 budget state that the town council could be asked to shoulder extra costs to cover the salary of the centre manager, when a grant to cover this expires in December.

Other costs, including heating the historic building, and others that the council owns in the centre of Tavistock are also a matter of concern, although the price the town council is paying for electricity is fixed until next July.

The papers, drawn up by the town council and being presented at the budget and policy committee as the Times went to press on Tuesday night, also suggest that the Tavistock Heritage Trust could consider charging admission for the centre, which promotes the local mining heritage to tourists from far and wide.

At present entry to the tourist attraction in Bedford Square is free.

A report to the committee, prepared by town clerk Carl Hearn, suggests this could bring in £10,000.

The town council occupies part of the historic building and leases part to the Tavistock Heritage Trust.

Charging for entry to the Guildhall Gateway Centre, the tourist attraction within the complex, might be a way to for the trust to cover the running costs of its portion of the centre itself, he suggests.

He wrote: ‘As previously referenced it has been necessary to make a ‘whole budget’ provision for the cost not only of the area occupied by the town council, but also under lease by Tavistock Heritage Trust.

‘The trust is working to generate income and it is anticipated that discussions will progress with a view to the possibility of charging for entry.

‘It is therefore very much hoped that the trust will be in a position to make a material contribution towards these costs which, in better times, would fall to be met by it under the terms of the agreement with the council.

‘If charging for entry were introduced a reasonable budget would appear to be £10,000 to offset its (and by virure of underwrite therefore the council’s expenditure).’

Noting that a grant to cover staffing costs for the Guildhall Gateway Centre would expire in December, he said ‘the council can become liable for meeting the costs of staffing’ as part of the operating costs of the building.

The gateway centre is so-called because it is the eastern gateway to the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site.