Museum on the Mound to close - Museums Association

Museum on the Mound to close

340 people have signed petition to reconsider decision
Jonathan Knott
Edinburgh’s Museum on the Mound, which focuses on the history of banking and money, is to close at the end of this year.

The museum is located in the head office of the Bank of Scotland (BoS), a grand 19th-century building. The venue also houses the Scottish headquarters of Lloyds Banking Group, which runs the museum, having acquired BoS as a subsidiary in 2009.

The venue has exhibitions on the history of BoS and the building, as well as the history of money and finance more generally. Objects on display include the BoS founding act from 1695, and the ledger the bank placed in a pub to attract its first investors.

The museum opened in 1987, with one room accessible for 12 weeks a year. In 2006 it was expanded to its current seven-room format. It receives about 50,000 visitors a year, including regular school groups.

It is understood that Lloyds Banking Group has made the decision to focus on its core business areas as it prepares for a strategic review next year.

The closure will mean two staff losing their jobs. Objects relating to Lloyds Banking Group will go to its archive site in Edinburgh, which will continue to be open to the public by appointment. Some objects may be donated to Accredited museums.

A spokesman for Lloyds Banking Group said: “Over the last 11 years, the museum has been one of the ways that Lloyds Banking Group has informed the public about the history of money and its role in society.

“The group remains committed to helping young people throughout Scotland understand financial management through our current flagship financial education and inclusion programmes.

“We will continue to work with our own archive service and other accredited institutions to ensure the artefacts are preserved.”

On Twitter, Alex Staniforth, an Edinburgh councillor and the culture spokesman for the Scottish Green Party, branded the decision an "absolute disgrace".

A statement from Staniforth said: "It would be a real shame to lose the museum, which is a valuable educational resource for local schools as well as a visitor attraction, because Bank of Scotland wants to save a bit of money.

"The public purse was very generous to the banks following the crash of 2008 and to respond by stripping a cultural venue from the heart of the city is very cold way of repaying that support."

petition on the 38 Degrees website asking for the decision to close the museum to be reconsidered has gathered more than 340 signatures.

One signatory wrote: “Banking has been a key industry for Edinburgh and Scotland. Its history should openly accessible and visible.”

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