Visits to the gallery fell by 35% in 2017

National Portrait Gallery makes 24 posts redundant

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 24.04.2018
Gallery cuts costs after visitors drop by 35%
The National Portrait Gallery in London has made 24 roles redundant – 7% of its overall workforce.

The jobs were cut following a voluntary exit process (an optional form of departure undertaken before any posts are identified as being at risk) and a voluntary redundancy process, which ended in March.

A spokeswoman from the institution said: “As with all organisations, and to make sure that we are as efficient as possible, the National Portrait Gallery continually refines its business model according to its priorities and has completed a round of both voluntary exit and voluntary redundancy.”

The spokeswoman said the redundancies had been carried out in order to “streamline our core costs and ensure we are in the best possible shape for the future”. The gallery did not comment on which posts had been affected.

Figures released by the Association for Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva) in March show the gallery had a difficult year in 2017, with visitor numbers down 35%, falling from almost 2m in 2016 to 1.3m the following year. It was the lowest level of footfall at the institution since 2001.
 
Terrorism fears, transport problems and the expense of a trip to central London are believed to be behind a fall in visitor numbers at several of the city’s national museums and galleries last year.

Meanwhile, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced this week that it has appointed a new trustee, Roger Blundell, to the National Portrait Gallery’s board. Blundell has a background in finance and accountancy and is currently the finance director of the property firm Grosvenor Britain and Ireland, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned urban landowners.

The May edition of Museums Journal will feature a news analysis on the affordability of a visit to the UK's national museums.

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