After months of advocacy, the Welsh Federation of Museums and Galleries and the Museums Association have reversed Cardiff Council’s proposal to close the Museum of Cardiff.
Facing a £24m funding shortfall, the council had launched a consultation putting several cost-saving proposals to the public, including moving the museum out of its home and turning it into a mobile “pop up” attraction. This would have left the collections and the museum’s connections to its communities at risk.
In response, sector organisations led a strategic advocacy plan to save the museum. This raised the public profile of its work, including powerful advocacy from Cardiff People First and other community groups, while also highlighting the risk to the future of the collections.
We wrote to politicians to outline the benefits of the museum’s community engagement programmes and the need for a museum dedicated to the history of the city.
Thanks to the collective efforts of those involved we have won a stay of execution and the council is rethinking its plans for the museum.
We will continue to work with the council and museum trustees to secure a permanent venue and a sustainable future for the museum.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that cross-sector working must be at the heart of our advocacy.
Joshua Robertson is a policy and campaigns officer at the Museums Association