BMT “may have to close some sites” - Museums Association

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BMT “may have to close some sites”

Proposed cuts could force museums to close, warns Birmingham Museums Trust
Alice Durrans
Eight heritage and cultural venues in Birmingham are under threat of closure, including Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Thinktank Science Museum, Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, and Weoley Castle.

Since a proposed £750,000 cut in the 2017-18 council grant to Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) was announced, the trust, which runs many of the museums and historic houses across the city, is now preparing for a worst-case scenario.

Although the trust has increased self-generated income, BMT has warned that some sites may have to close if the cuts go ahead.

Ellen McAdam, the director of BMT, said: “We understand that the city is in a difficult position, but with cuts as severe as these we have no option but to look at reductions in service across all of our sites.

“We want to ensure that Birmingham remains a leading city for arts and culture, and continues to thrive. Birmingham Museums Trust is one of the city’s success stories and we believe that it is vital that Birmingham’s great museums and collection should continue to receive the investment they need so that we can build on this achievement.

“In the face of continued funding reductions, our visitor numbers and earned income are growing strongly and we continue to deliver the council’s museum service and care for the city’s great collection to a high standard. We hope the public support shown for Birmingham Museums Trust will raise awareness of how detrimental these cuts would be for the city.”

The trust is calling on the public to show their support and a petition launched to reduce the cut to the budget has had 3,781 signatures.

The council’s budget consultation runs until 18 January 2017.

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