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Effects of funding decision for Sheffield Museums

Friday, February 3, 2012

Meg Munn MP met Museums Sheffield Chief Executive Nick Dodd this morning to investigate just what the impact will be of the reduced funding following the Arts Council’s shock decision not to award them 1.4million per year over the next three years. Nick Dodd advised Meg that the funding decision means that Sheffield’s museums will not be able to expand exhibitions, puts at risk the current level of the educational services and that up to 45 jobs will go.  

Museum Sheffield have been granted a small amount of funding from the Arts Council, which will provide a reprieve of up to six months for around 6 of the 45 staff facing redundancy. This small grant covers the cost and staffing of planned events to coincide with the Olympics and help pay towards redundancy costs. They are also bidding for ‘transition’ funding from the Arts Council to allow it to keep its advertised programme of events over the spring and summer. If this is successful then additional staff will be kept on.

Meg said:

“The impact of the Arts Council decision will be devastating for our museums and the educational services they provide for children across South Yorkshire. Qualified and experienced staff are likely to lose their jobs. This goes against everything the Arts Council say they want to achieve giving every child access to good museums.

Sheffield’s funding bid was assessed as ‘outstanding’ for its work with children and young people. Innovative work to support young people’s learning through schools as part of their GCSEs will now be lost. Schools’ tours around museums like Bishops House will rely more on volunteers and payments by schools. This is an unacceptable situation for a city which offers support to schools from across the region.

Over 850,000 people who walk through the Millennium Galleries every year will also be affected. This space is unique, providing everyone with easy and free access to exhibitions and collections. This much loved space in the city centre is under threat and will affect tourism and businesses, as well as the overall cultural offer in Sheffield.”

Museums Sheffield is the charitable Trust responsible for four of the city’s museums and galleries: Millennium Gallery, Western Park, Graves Gallery and Bishop’ House in Meg’s constituency. To find out more visit: http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/

Associated Photograph :

Meg and Nick

Meg and Nick

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