Survey Reveals Cultural Threat as Many UK Museums Suffer Funding Cuts

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20th July 2011 17:35 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

A survey by the Museums Association has uncovered a cultural threat – one fifth of UK museums have had their funding cut by at least 25% in the past nine months.

The study of 140 museums was undertaken to assess the impact of the government's Spending Review in October. It covered England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, including national museums and local, independent, military and university museums.

In total, 58% of those surveyed said they had suffered cuts in some form. As a result, 50% of the institutions had reduced their opening hours and 86% said they had had to cut staff, with almost 50% needing a larger number of volunteers to keep operating.

Nearly half of all the respondents believed the quality of their service will worsen over the next year due to the funding decrease.

Museums Association's Mark Taylor commented: "Local authorities that make devastating cuts to museums of over 25% impoverish their communities."

He added: "The survey shows it's a myth that you can cut funding without affecting front-line services... there's a risk that in some cases, the doors will be slammed shut forever."

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