The Queen Street Mill is one of a number of sites in Lancashire that has closed following cuts to public funding

MA publishes information for museums facing closure

Patrick Steel, 20.09.2017
Report looks at legal and ethical considerations
The Museums Association (MA), with funding from Arts Council England, has published Museums Facing Closure: Legal and Ethical Issues, a document outlining the
legal and ethical issues relating to museum closures.

Drawing on research into over 20 recent museum closures in the UK, the document looks to understand how the governing bodies, employees, and the individuals involved responded.

Topics covered include how museums have dealt with a crisis that may lead to closure, how museums have planned for closure, and considerations around staff and volunteers, managing collections, museum buildings and sites, partnerships and contracts, IT and data, and the legacy of the museum.

Alistair Brown, the MA’s policy officer, said: “Most museums are hugely successful and have a great future ahead of them. But in a time of public funding cuts, 64 museums have closed across the UK since 2010 and more are at risk.

“In putting this document together, we wanted to make sure that we are learning the lessons from those closures, and to ensure that support is available for museums facing this kind of crisis.

“We need to think about how to maintain public benefit and protect collections and buildings when a museum closes down. I hope that this work will help stakeholders to understand the difficulties and expense of closure, and will be a valuable resource as part of the wider advice that the MA is able to offer.”

Links and downloads

Museums Facing Closure: Legal and Ethical Issues (pdf)

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