Museums Sheffield Announces Redundancies In Credit Crunch Battle

By Ed Sexton | 18 November 2008
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photograph of a man with short hair

Chief Executive for Museums Sheffield, Nick Dodd © Museums Sheffield

Museums Sheffield is undergoing a major restructure to help beat the ongoing recession.

Local newspapers reported that the organisation could cut some of its staff to ensure the survival of a valuable public resource that is struggling to pay for growing running costs.

Chief executive for Museums Sheffield, Nick Dodd revealed today that potentially four jobs could go in the restructure.

He said: “We have seen a huge increase in the costs of running, maintaining and heating our buildings – the increases have been mind blowing with energy costs going up by 85 per cent in October alone."

“We are taking steps reasonably quickly but urgently as we understand and recognise what we have got to do as both a business and a charity to ensure our future survival.”

photograph of a museum gallery with screen interactives and a model of two young polar bears

Weston Park Museum has a dedicated family area in the Arctic World exhibition space, shown here, and loads more to appeal to all ages. © Sheffield Museums Trust

Museums Sheffield is looking into different uses for its buildings outside of public hours including weddings and events and may also change their opening hours to maximise footfall through the museums and galleries.

The organisation, which operates Millennium Galleries, Weston Park Museum, Graves Art Gallery and Bishops House has seen an impressive 28 per cent increase in visitor numbers since it introduced free access.

Mr Dodd added: “We may be a little bit smaller and slightly different because of the changes but we will continue to offer the really excellent museum service that we provide today."

“Independent museums are feeling the pinch in terms of people's spending power – the good thing about our museums are that we are now entirely free so people that are feeling the pinch are still visiting the museums because they are places of interest with things to do."

“Our numbers are very healthy and are up year on year but this does not necessarily translate into income.”

Go to www.museums-sheffield.org.uk for more information.