Northern Ireland museums hit by cuts - Museums Association

Northern Ireland museums hit by cuts

NMNI and NIMC in talks with government over impact of cuts on museums
Felicity Heywood
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The National Museums of Northern Ireland (NMNI) and the Northern Ireland Museums Council (NIMC) have been in talks with the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) over the impact of cuts on Northern Ireland’s museums.

DCAL has to find 17.2 per cent or £46m of savings between 2011 and 2015. The department’s current budget is £109m of which 20 per cent goes to museums. DCAL’s director of finance, said the cuts would be “widespread and unpalatable”.

The Northern Ireland Museums Council (NIMC) is modelling 5 per cent cuts per year for the four years. Chris Bailey, the director of the NIMC, said he had been through “projection exercises” with DCAL over the summer.

Bailey said: “The NIMC is a very efficient organisation. Any cuts will impact severely on us.”

He said possible areas for cuts are, administration, operations and grants. “We will have a look at the impact of cutting budgets on one or all three.”

A statement from NMNI read: “National Museums Northern Ireland is naturally concerned about potential reductions in funding and the possible impact on leading visitor attractions such as the Ulster Museum, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Ulster American Folk Park and W5.

“National Museums is working in partnership with the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to explore options and implications depending on funding outcomes.”

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