Fifth of UK museums hit by severe cuts

  • 20 July 2011

Museums and galleries across the UK have been hit hard by devastating cuts implemented in recent months by local authorities, but what has been the real impact of the reduction in funding?

People's History Museum Copyright: KIPPA MATTHEWS

People's History Museum

Museums and galleries across the UK have been hit hard by devastating cuts implemented in recent months by local authorities, but what has been the real impact of the reduction in funding? A new survey carried out by the Museums Association has shown a fifth of organisations have been cut by over 25%.

From the worst affected, 50% have been forced to reduce opening hours and over 85% have cut staff. The report comes in the same week that the director of Tate Liverpool, Christoph Grunenberg, has decided to leave the organisation following news that the gallery will itself face job losses.

The outcome of the survey suggests recent short-term cuts could affect our cultural organisations for many years to come, as nearly half of all respondents anticipate the quality of service in their museum to decrease and 41% report that knowledge and expertise are being lost.

Mark Taylor, Museums Association Director, said, ‘The survey shows that it’s a myth that you can cut funding without affecting front-line services. People throughout the UK will have less access to the learning, inspiration and enjoyment that museums bring.’

Art Fund director, Stephen Deuchar commented, ““The long term impact of short term cuts on museums is deeply worrying. 41% of those affected report that knowledge and expertise are being lost – and without them, in the end, museums are nothing.”

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