MUSEUM prices are set to soar as Canterbury City Council juggles its budget.
The cost of tickets for city museums may double in a bid to save them from closure.
Among museums facing the chop were the Roman Museum, Westgate Towers Museum and Herne Bay Museum.
The Westgate Towers Museum has now been taken over by entrepreneur Charles Lambie. He is converting the former police station and cells next door into a new museum which could be ready for visitors by Easter.
The city council retains control of the other museums but will be almost doubling the price of entry tickets to the Roman Museum in Butchery Lane from £3.10 to £6.
Fees for the Museum of Canterbury and Rupert Bear Museum in Stour Street will rise from £3.60 to £8.
Visitors to Whitstable and Herne Bay Museum will no longer have free entry but will be expected to pay £3 and £2 – unless they have a Residents Card.
Council chief executive Colin Carmichael told Canterbury members on Monday: "They are very significant increases but the prices are the same as York and Bath.
"This should allow us to support all museums instead of closing a few."
But Liberal Democrat councillor Michael Steed said: "A lot of Europeans visit Canterbury. By paying that price they will have certain expectations.
"York is four times bigger than Canterbury.
"If we price ourselves out we will stab ourselves in the foot."
Fellow Lib-Dem councillor Nick Eden-Green said: "If we want to ensure nobody visits them, these new prices are the way. Doubling the cost will knock demand.
"It will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy and lead to the museums closing."
Proposals must be passed by the full council in February before taking effect in April.