UK museums forced to close their doors due to budget cuts

Written on:July 3, 2023
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UK museums at stake because of budget cut (Image courtesy: Brians)

A study published today by the Museums Association (MA) suggested, a large number of UK museums and galleries are closing their doors because of budget cuts.

The research, carried out earlier this year, found that 11% of museums had permanently shut whole sites, 22% had closed parts of their sites temporarily or permanently, over half had suffered budget cuts over the past 12 months, and among those, 42% had reduced staff. Many have tried to compensate for cuts with new or increased charges for school visits and reduced opening hours.

The study warned that the severe cutbacks have forced almost a quarter of institutions to close down. Institutions that have suffered include Malton Museum in Ryedale, which has a collection of Roman antiquities like a painted goddess, pottery and a manicure set. Now the museum is in an industrial unit that the public cannot access.

The budget cutback has also taken a toll on Church Farmhouse, a “historical gem” in north London that recalled the “village” of Hendon before it became a sprawling suburb. A building preserving the look of an early Victorian kitchen and dining room now lies “empty and mouldering”. The local council is keen on selling it off.

“It’s not getting any better and in some cases it’s getting worse. There’s no prospect of an upturn any time soon,” informed Mark Taylor, director of the MA.

She added, “What is so sad is that some of these closures are forever. Some collections are in danger of rotting and rusting away along with the sense of place, history and community that they represent.”

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