Thursday, 2 December 2010

ScotlandsPeople Centre to increase charges in 2011

In the current financial climate it was inevitable, but the ScotlandsPeople Centre (www.scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk) has just announced forthcoming changes to its admission pricing policy:

The Registrar General announced today that, subject to the agreement of the Scottish Parliament, some of the statutory fees for the ScotlandsPeople Centre will be revised in 2011. The news bulletin can be viewed at:

http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/press/news2010/statutory-registration-fees.html

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the new fees from 1 April 2011 will be:

General full day search fee - £15 (Note that this is still lower than that charged in 1996).
General search per quarter - £490
General search per year - £1,450

Please note that increases to season tickets will only apply when new passes are purchased from 1 April 2011.

Customers will be pleased to hear that the cost of electronic saves made at the Centre are being reduced from £1 to 50p from 1 April 2011.

The cost of Extracts increases from 1 January 2011 and therefore Extracts purchased at the Centre from Wednesday 5 January will cost £10. [The Centre is closed on 27 and 28 December 2010 and 3 and 4 January 2011.]

In 1996, a full day search cost £17, the price at which it was miantained until the ScotlandsPeople Centre came into existence a couple of years ago. Personally speaking I am more than happy with a £5 increase in the current climate, though as with many genealogists I will have to pass that cost on - but better that, than to lose the centre.


UPDATE: The centre will also be opening at evenings and weekends from April 2011 - now that IS good news!

FURTHER UPDATE: There's always a catch! Thanks to Kirsty Wilkinson for flagging up the schedule at www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/files2/family-records/fees-schedule.pdf - some further detail - the weekend and bank holiday opening will be £30 per day, not £15 - ouch. An extra two hours after 4.30pm on weekdays is to be an extra £10 - bigger ouch. And from April 2011, the ScotlandsPeople website (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/) will be charging £7 per 30 credits, and not £6.

(With thanks to Dee Williams at the ScotlandsPeople Centre)

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

20 comments:

lizanne said...

I agree much better to pay the increase than to lose the centre. £15 for a day is still very reasonable.

The Professional Descendant said...

I also welcome the idea of evening and weekend opening but if I'm reading that right it will cost £30 for a general search on a Saturday, Sunday or Public Holiday rather than the usual £15 - seems a bit steep!

Kirsty

Chris Paton said...

I can't see where you are seeing that Kirsty? (I've checked the GRO statement, can't see it there?) I have emailed the centre to ask if the £15 includes the evening extensions though.

Chris

The Professional Descendant said...

Hi Chris,

I'm looking at http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/files2/family-records/fees-schedule.pdf - the very last item on the list on the second page.

Kirsty

Chris Paton said...

Yikes - now that is a bit much! Guessing union overtime rates must be kicking in - guess we'll have to stick to Mondays to Fridays then :(

Thanks for flagging that!

Chris

Chris Paton said...

Something else buried in there - the ScotlandsPeople website fee is rising from £6 for thirty credits to £7.

Chris

Chris Paton said...

Have updated the top story - thanks for the tip off

Chris

Chris Paton said...

Evening search after 4.30pm an extra £10! For 2 hours? Crikey...

Chris

The Professional Descendant said...

No probs. I can understand the reason for the extra charges outside the usual opening hours but it does seem to unfairly penalise those (mostly younger) people who work full-time and who may only be able to get to the centre at weekends and evenings.

I can see occasions when I might want to take advantage of the extra hours but at those prices I think I'll mostly be sticking to weekday daytimes!

Kirsty

Chris Paton said...

I agree, I think at best this new set up only really benefits season ticket holders, as I suspect they won't have an additional premium to pay for weekend access (though their season tickets are going up).

I've emailed the centre to ask if it would be possible on the day to extend the hours at short notice. I can imagine if I am doing client research that I might think at about 4.00pm that I could finish this if I only had an extra hour - only to find that I should have prebooked! That would then mean a whole new visit, which would not be very client friendly.

Completely agree on the point about those who can't visit Mon-Fri because of work - it does seem to unfairly discriminate against them. But I suppose there is at least an option there that wasn't available before. £30 for seven and a half hours acess on a Saturday is still better value than 2 hours for a tenner after 4.30. But quite a hike from the normal rate.

Chris

lizanne said...

Not being based in Scotland I regularly use the website . I don't mind paying the £7 for 30 credits , I think it's still very good value for money especially when you take into account the cost of English and especially Irish certificates.

Chris Paton said...

Latest from GROS - the evening visits are actually not an extension from 4.30, but as it says on the tin, evening visits, so will not be covered by the day rate. At present FHSs can take groups in, but need a certain number; new rates are to take bookings also per person.

High weekend rates are to allow for staff overtime basically, as well as security, heating, lighting etc. The centre will probably trial weekend and bank holiday visits first, rather than immediately offer them regularly, to see what the demand is like. Centre will not open at weekends if it cannot cover its costs. So these new rates are basically to give the centre flexibility to open on these days if it wishes, on a legislative basis.

Chris

Chris Paton said...

Agree Lizanne - I've heard many people complain about ScotlandsPeople outside of Scotland, truth is, I think it is envy! lol

Must admit though, I wouldn't be surprised if Scottish cert prices went up, as in England - but it thankfully hasn't happened yet!!!

Chris

lizanne said...

I recently purchased an English cert from the registrars office.To get it the same day cost me £15 .
At 6 credits for a copy of the page on the register on SP it's a bargain.
I agree that most people are envious of SP and who can blame them.

Carol McI said...

I am happy to pay a bit more and I hope others agree - I would hate to lose ScotlandsPeople Centre.

Carol
Malaysia

Bonnie M said...

My research online using Scotland's People helped me crack the tough case of my Irish Catholic family and I'll always be grateful to them. Their costs are reasonable and an extra £ is not bad.

Wish I could get the same kind of service with Irish records. So many church records, unavailable unless one goes to Ireland or hires someone.

Chris Paton said...

Couldn't agree more Bonnie - it would be nice if Ireland stepped into the 20th century on that front, whilst the rest of us carry on with the 21st!

It is worth pointing out that the ScotlandsPeople centre does in fact have Northern Irish civil birth indexes (though not marriages or deaths) from 1922 on a stand alone computer in the Dundas Room, so if you have Ulster roots, all will not be lost on a visit to Edinburgh!

Chris

Chris Paton said...

PS: Irish Catholic records held at the NLI in Dublin (about 95% of all surviving) are now being digitised, and likely to go online for free - they won't be indexed, browsable only - so hang in there!

Chris

Sheena said...

Cost of Scottish certificates IS going up. From April 2011 certificates ordered through ScotlandsPeople will be £12 (currently £10). From Jan 2011 cost of certificates ordered by post will be £15 (currently £13)- priority fee an additional £15 (currently £10).

Chris Paton said...

Whole new post on its way...!

Thanks Sheena

Chris