Campaign launched to save Cynon Valley Museum

One of a number of museums threatened with closure this year
Profile image for Geraldine Kendall Adams
Geraldine Kendall Adams
A group of local artists has launched a campaign to save Cynon Valley Museum & Gallery in South Wales, which is earmarked for closure due to local authority cuts.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council, which is facing a budget gap of £70m, launched a public consultation this week into its planned service reductions, including a proposal to cut its heritage service by £350,000 a year.

Along with the closure of the museum, the council plans to end an agreement to provide heritage services to the neighbouring Pontypridd Museum and to reduce opening hours at the Rhondda Heritage Park.

Campaigners staged an event at Cynon Valley Museum last weekend to encourage the local community to show their support for the facility.

A petition against the closure has raised over 1,000 signatures so far. The campaign group hopes public support during the consultation period will force a U-turn on the planned closure.

Artist Gayle Rogers, who set up the petition, said arts and cultural services were being disproportionately targeted in the council’s proposed cuts.

She said: “The loss of Cynon Valley Museum would damage the arts in Wales and prospects of local artists and makers. It is 'the' significant exhibition venue in the valleys, in an area where dedicated exhibition space is sparse to say the very least.

“Although its proposed closure would adversely affect the arts and artists, the impact on the wider local community, who use the venue on a regular basis, cannot be understated.”

The museum is on the site of the 19th century Gadlys Ironworks. It opened in 2001 with the aid of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The public consultation runs until 24 February.

Meanwhile, a petition has also been launched to prevent the closure of Walsall Museum in the West Midlands, which Walsall Council is proposing to shut in order to save £70,000.

And a petition against the closure of Snibston Discovery Museum has been submitted to Leicestershire County Council after attracting over 8,000 signatures.

In Edinburgh, the Police Museum on the Royal Mile will close to the public in March as a result of cuts and restructuring at Police Scotland.

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