Cuming Museum loses all staff in restructure

Fire-damaged museum due to reopen in 2019
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Rebecca Atkinson
A restructure of the Cuming Museum by Southwark Council in south London has seen all its staff made redundant.

The museum is closed following a fire in March 2013, which caused considerable damage to the building and parts of the collection. The council hopes to restore the building and reopen the museum in 2019, and said it will create new roles once the reorganisation of the museum is complete.

Museums Journal understands that four staff members have taken voluntary redundancy, including one of the museum’s heritage managers, which is a job share post. Another role overseeing the art collection remains vacant.

The remaining heritage manager was recently made redundant, meaning that no members of museum staff remain to oversee the removal of the collection into storage.

Ian Wingfield, the deputy leader and cabinet member for business, employment and culture at Southwark Council, said: “The heritage service is currently being reorganised with a number of posts being deleted and new ones being created. Staff involved have a number of options open to them including an opportunity to take voluntary severance.

"We will recruit to vacant posts once the reorganisation is complete. We do not comment on individual members of staff.
“The building that housed the Cuming Museum was extensively damaged by fire in 2013 and plans are in the early stages of development for a new building, which will include a new library, a home for the archive, the registrars service and for civic and community activities as well as the Cuming.

“The new building will serve as a cultural focus for the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle.”

An installation about the Cuming Museum fire by the artist Janetka Platun is due to open this weekend at the Peckham Platform in south London. 

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