28/02 An independent performance review of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has praised its impressive achievements and set out recommendations to ensure the major plant science research facility and popular visitor attraction maintains and improves on its success in years to come.
The review, carried out on behalf of Defra, concluded that the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Kew has met all of its statutory obligations since the last performance review in 2001, such as preservation and care for a wide variety of plant collections, undertaking research into the science of plants and ensuring the public have access to the collections.
The review makes a number of recommendations, for both Kew and Defra to ensure a sustainable future for RBG Kew. The recommendations are aimed at maintaining Kew’s world class standard in scientific research, further improving the quality, effectiveness and value for money of Kew’s services and sustaining it as a major, iconic visitor attraction and a World Heritage Site. The report also recommends that Defra remains the lead sponsoring Department for Kew with support through its Grant-in-Aid funding.
Natural and Marine Environment Minister Huw Irranca-Davies said:
“The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew plays a crucial role in conserving the diversity of plant life on the planet and in providing first rate scientific research into plant life and the impacts of climate change. Kew’s wide range of living and preserved plant exhibits also makes it a hugely popular tourist attraction that brings joy to countless visitors.
“I welcome this review and Defra will consider its recommendations in great detail. Our consideration of this report will help us maintain the high standards at Kew and ensure the best means to provide adequate financial support to continue its success in the years to come.”
Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Professor Stephen Hopper, said:
“We welcome this review’s findings that Kew is delivering excellence both as an internationally-renowned plant science and conservation organisation and as a leading visitor attraction. Kew’s collections, knowledge, expertise and international partnerships mean we have much to contribute in dealing with the environmental challenges of our times. We welcome the report’s recommendations, which are designed to enable us to continue to deliver our mission and our statutory duties now and in years to come. We will now consider these recommendations in detail.”
Defra and Kew will now examine the report’s recommendations in full and separate, formal responses will be issued later this year.
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