Mosi is in talks with the National Museum of Science and Industry

DCMS still seeking funds for seven non-nationals

Rebecca Atkinson, Issue 111/12, p9, 01.12.2011
Eight months after self-imposed deadline, only National Football Museum has financing
Future funding arrangements for non-national museums remain uncertain after the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it was still seeking alternative sponsors.

Last October, the DCMS said it would relinquish control of eight non-national museums after April 2015. It planned to find alternative sponsors by April, but has so far failed to do so for seven of the museums. The National Football Museum became the responsibility of Manchester City Council in April.

A DCMS spokesman said: “We are at a stage, with some of the museums, where we are in discussions with possible future sponsors and this will take some time to work through. We cannot make an announcement until the plans are finalised and all parties are content with them.”

The Museum of Science and Industry (Mosi) in Manchester has confirmed that it is in talks with the National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI), which includes the Science Museum in London, York’s National Railway Museum and the National Media Museum in Bradford.

Peter Fell, Mosi’s interim chairman, said: “Mosi trustees are exploring the long-term benefits that would result from a merger between Mosi and NMSI. Trustees need to be satisfied that the new arrangements will ensure the long-term sustainability of this great museum in Manchester. A lot of detailed work still needs to be done before a final decision is made, and I hope to make an announcement shortly.”

But the remaining six museums have yet to name potential sponsors. Iain Watson, director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: “We are in the process of identifying a preferred partner and are optimistic that we will have an update soon.”

Katy Archer, director of the People’s History Museum in Manchester, said it would meet the DCMS this month. She added that the DCMS had made it clear that none of the  museums would be “cut off” if alternative funding could not be found.

In April, the National Coal Mining Museum for England announced it was in talks with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Hepworth Wakefield. But the museum’s director, Margaret Faull, said a formal merger was now unlikely to take place.

The other non-national museums are the Design Museum, the Horniman Museum and Gardens and the Geffrye Museum in London.

Update
02/12/2011

Mosi and NMSI are to merge in January 2012.

Click here for an updated news report


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