YOUNG carers, under 25s, and residents in older people's homes will be eligible for free entry to York museums, if a new deal negotiated with the city council gets the go-ahead next week.

People aged 17 to 24, York residents on benefits, people in older people's homes, and other groups, could all be able to apply for free access to the refurbished York Art Gallery as well as the Castle Museum and Yorkshire Museum, it has been revealed.

Two months after proposals to scrap free entry for York residents provoked an outcry in the city, council's executive is being asked to approve a deal to fund free annual passes for 4,000 people who can least afford to pay.

The new deal also shows the cost of an annual museums pass for residents with a York Card has dropped previously proposed £17 to £11. Under 16s will still get free admission.

It could see the trust get as much as £20,000 a year in extra cash from the council, with an agreement that the council will pay £5 for every free YMT Access card given to 17-24-year-olds and York residents who claim Universal Credit, Pensions Credit, Jobseekers Allowance, or Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support, up to a maximum 4,000 cards a year. The money will be taken from council contingency funds, if next week's executive meeting agrees the new deal.

On top of the free YMT cards deal, another 20,000 free tickets could be given out annually to people with mental health issues, young carers, and residents of older person’s homes and their carers.

Cllr Nigel Ayre in the executive member for culture, leisure and tourism, and has been negotiating with YMT bosses to come up with the "pragmatic" proposals.

He said it was clear the YMT was under financial pressure after cuts in its council grants, announced in early 2015, and added: "We are providing funding to ensure that access will remain free to those who can least afford to pay. Young people will get free entry and I am particularly happy that the Trust has agreed to work with the council to offer free access annually to 20,000 residents from groups including young carers and residents of older person’s homes and their carers.

"On top of this, all other residents will benefit from discounted entry all year round and free entry on certain days."

A spokesman for the Trust added: "Whilst we welcome this new proposal that the council will provide funding for up to 4,000 YMT Access Cards, detail of how this will be implemented is still under discussion. If agreed, we hope that the council will continue to fund this initiative beyond the initial 4,000.

"York Museums Trust strives to provide good access to the attractions we run for York residents while ensuring the sustainability of the organisation in difficult financial circumstances. For many years the Trust has worked with a wide variety of organisations to maximise access for hard to reach groups and we look forward to building on this work with the help of the council and others."

If they are approved, the YMT hopes to have the new arrangements up and running soon after next Thursday's executive meeting, the spokesman added.

On top of the new access arrangement, the executive report shows that although York museums receive some of the lowest council grants in the country, YMT bosses only expect those grants to fall.

At nine percent of its annual turnover, the £600,000 council grant YMT gets is significantly lower than the 59 percent local authority grant Leeds museums get, and the 38 percent received by the Hepworth Wakefield. But YMT bosses believe that in years to come their council grant will fall to just four percent of annual turnover, the papers show.

The report also shows that although the YMT breached its lease for the gallery with the charges for York residents, council legal advisors have argued against fighting the changes through the courts saying trustees for the YMT could argue strongly that they had been forced into charging by the funding cuts.