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UK museum infrastructure is crumbling, warn sector leaders
POSTED 01 Oct 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
Funding cuts from central and regional governments over a number of years have left many UK museums with maintenance and repair backlogs Credit: Shutterstock
The impact of years of cuts and disinvestment is taking its toll on our amazing regional museums and galleries
– Sharon Heal
Museum infrastructure in the UK is at breaking point and requires critical investment to protect collections after years of cutbacks, according to leading figures in the museum sector.

The Museums Association's president Maggie Appleton, National Museum Directors' Council chair Ian Blatchford, and Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar were all behind a letter published in The Times newspaper on 30 September, which highlighted a "quiet crisis" in the UK museums sector, with "crumbling buildings" threatening the stability and preservation of collections.

"For a decade, museums have suffered swingeing cuts in local and central government funding while coping with record visitor numbers," the letter said.

"We have delayed essential maintenance, patched or repaired infrastructure and rattled the tin for donations to fill the gap, but we are now at breaking point."

The letter suggests that "leaking roofs and antiquated air-handling systems" are the result of the funding cuts, while digitisation projects struggle to get started or make progress.

The ability of national museums to lend objects to regional museums is also affected, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy lenders and insurers that the conditions are suitable for them to be displayed safely.

These kinds of problems were brought into focus during the summer, the newspaper reported, with masonry collapsing and sewage flooding into collection stores at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery. The costs of the backlog of repairs are estimated to run into the tens of millions of pounds, it said.

Museums Association director Sharon Heal says policy-makers need to focus not just on funding for repairs but also on investing in revenue support for museums.

"The impact of years of cuts and disinvestment is taking its toll on our amazing regional museums and galleries. The MA has been warning about the consequences of the cuts for the past five years," said Heal.

"The report from the Museums Taskforce, published last year, outlined the crumbling infrastructure and maintenance backlog that many museums have to deal with. But as well as cash for repairs we need revenue funding to support the fantastic and life-changing day-to-day work that we do with our communities."
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
UK museum infrastructure is crumbling, warn sector leaders
POSTED 01 Oct 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
Funding cuts from central and regional governments over a number of years have left many UK museums with maintenance and repair backlogs Credit: Shutterstock
The impact of years of cuts and disinvestment is taking its toll on our amazing regional museums and galleries
– Sharon Heal
Museum infrastructure in the UK is at breaking point and requires critical investment to protect collections after years of cutbacks, according to leading figures in the museum sector.

The Museums Association's president Maggie Appleton, National Museum Directors' Council chair Ian Blatchford, and Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar were all behind a letter published in The Times newspaper on 30 September, which highlighted a "quiet crisis" in the UK museums sector, with "crumbling buildings" threatening the stability and preservation of collections.

"For a decade, museums have suffered swingeing cuts in local and central government funding while coping with record visitor numbers," the letter said.

"We have delayed essential maintenance, patched or repaired infrastructure and rattled the tin for donations to fill the gap, but we are now at breaking point."

The letter suggests that "leaking roofs and antiquated air-handling systems" are the result of the funding cuts, while digitisation projects struggle to get started or make progress.

The ability of national museums to lend objects to regional museums is also affected, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy lenders and insurers that the conditions are suitable for them to be displayed safely.

These kinds of problems were brought into focus during the summer, the newspaper reported, with masonry collapsing and sewage flooding into collection stores at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery. The costs of the backlog of repairs are estimated to run into the tens of millions of pounds, it said.

Museums Association director Sharon Heal says policy-makers need to focus not just on funding for repairs but also on investing in revenue support for museums.

"The impact of years of cuts and disinvestment is taking its toll on our amazing regional museums and galleries. The MA has been warning about the consequences of the cuts for the past five years," said Heal.

"The report from the Museums Taskforce, published last year, outlined the crumbling infrastructure and maintenance backlog that many museums have to deal with. But as well as cash for repairs we need revenue funding to support the fantastic and life-changing day-to-day work that we do with our communities."
RELATED STORIES
Maggie Appleton named new Museums Association president


The Museums Association (MA) has named Maggie Appleton as its new president, with the RAF Museum CEO set to take up the role in April.
Continued cuts force UK's regional museums to close


A new study by the Museums Association (MA) has revealed that one in five regional museums in the UK have been forced to downsize in the past year by closing a part of their museum to save on costs.
Funding cuts could spell end of free entry to majority of UK cultural institutions


The Museums Association has warned that funding cuts could mean the end of free entry to UK cultural institutions, with York Art Gallery the first to consider charging visitors when it soon reopens after an £8m redevelopment.
Budget cuts force one in ten UK museums to sell off parts of collections


A new survey from the Museums Association has shown that around one in every 10 UK museums are being forced to consider selling off parts of their collections to balance the books due to funding cuts.
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Texas Kalahari Water Park scheduled for November 2020 opening
A new US$550m (€509m, £426m) African-themed water park and resort from Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is due to open in Round Rock, Texas, in November 2020.
Northern Ireland's The Gobbins in line for £11m development
Plans for an £11m (US$14.2m, €13m) extension to The Gobbins, a famous cliff-face path at Islandmagee, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, have made significant progress, according to the local borough council.
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DIARY

 

23-25 Mar 2020

MuseumNext Europe

Edinburgh Festival Hub, Edinburgh,
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ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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