Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Article - Cuts begin to take effect in local authority Museums

Council budget setting leads to severe cuts for some museums. Despite a successful application for £3.8m of Renaissance major grant funding, Norfolk Museums and Archaeological Service (NMAS) is having to make £145,000 of savings this year and £161,000 in 2013-14 to meet cuts in its budget from Norfolk County Council.

NMAS has closed its Costume and Textile Study Centre at Carrow Hall and is relocating it to Shirehall, with the loss of two posts.

The council is reviewing the service, having rejected an option to move to trust status. A proposed merger with Ipswich and Colchester is also on the backburner.

Museums Sheffield, which was unsuccessful in its Renaissance funding bid, has announced details of 43 posts that will be made redundant at the end of September. Eleven are curatorial and exhibitions posts, with 21 in learning.

Also missing out on a Renaissance funding bid, Hampshire County Council Arts and Museums, Southampton City Council Arts and Heritage, and Winchester City Council Museums will make a decision on whether to merge as a charitable trust in early autumn.

As Museums Journal went to press, Derby City Council was about to vote on a proposal to transfer its museums to a charitable trust.

Also looking to move to trust status by this autumn, Nottingham Industrial Museum, closed by the council in 2009, reopened in March staffed by 60 volunteers. The museum is open at weekends and bank holidays, and has already had more than 1,000 visitors.

Science Alive, which is negotiating the takeover of the Museum of Harlow from Harlow District Council, aims to open the museum this month, staffed by its records officer and 20 volunteers.

The negotiations include a three-year funding agreement with the council, to give Science Alive time to develop new income streams.

Kirklees Council has agreed to keep the Red House Museum open, but will introduce an admission charge from 1 June. The council is also expected to make a decision on changes to opening hours at its other museums this month.

From: http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/01052012-cuts-local-authority-museums

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