Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
The announcement of the outcome of the government's spending review on 26 June is likely to bring further cuts to the Science Museum Group which includes Bradford's National Media Museum. A petition has been launched against closure at: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-the-national-media-museu...
The media has flagged all options being on the table from the return of admission charges - despite this being contrary to government policy - to the merger or closure of one of the Group's northern-based museums with the National Media Museum being the most likely candidate. Ian Blatchford, Director of SMG has also flagged closure of one of the Group's museums as an option. The SMG faces a significant deficit from 2014 which is likely to be exacerbated by a further reduction in its grant-in-aid from central government.
The NMeM is seen as a key player in the regeneration of Bradford's city centre and the city council has been vocal in its support for it. It has proposed that financial responsibility for the museum is moved from the DCMS to the Department for Business.
The museum has undertaken a significant restructuring including major staff losses over the past year and any further reduction in funding would inevitably further impact on the museum's activities.
This morning, Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive, Science Museum Group spoke at a press conference organised by the Science Media Centre and Campaign for Science and Engineering at the Wellcome Trust, London, on why the science budget be protected in the forthcoming Spending Review. He said:
"In the past four years, we have dealt with a 25 per cent real terms cut in funding when the science base, funded by a different Government Department, has had to cope with a 10 per cent cut. We are investigating a range of options but if an additional 10 per cent cut is made when the spending review is announced at the end of this month, there would be little choice other than to close one of our museums, since our structural (year on year) deficit would rise from £2 million to £6 million. Cuts at this level will mean that we will again need to make savings across the whole Group, this includes the Science Museum in London and each of our sister museums in the north. I would rather have three world class museums than four mediocre museums. I should add that charging is not on the agenda because Government policy precludes it.’
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