Glasgow museums and galleries face penny-pinching 2010 as £60 million cutbacks loom

By Culture24 Staff | 22 December 2009
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A photo of the inside of a building site with a metal roof

Culture and Sport Glasgow, the trust set up to oversee museums and galleries across the Scottish second city, will be forced to close five museums on Mondays and make £3.4 million in cutbacks in 2010.

The St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art and the People's Palace and Winter Gardens are among the candidates for reduced hours, although the department may feel it has escaped the brunt of the bad news as Glasgow City Council targets 600 redundancies and a £60 million saving for the financial year.

Key attractions the Gallery of Modern Art and Kelvingrove Art Gallery will avoid scrutiny, and the £74 million project to build the new Riverside Museum (above) is "not expected" to be affected. There will be no compulsory job losses.

a colourful sculptural amalgam of chairs and handbags in a gallery

The Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art

"We have tried to learn from the deep cuts of the mid-1990s, when Glasgow Museums lost nearly 120 staff," said Mark O'Neill, Head of Arts and Museums at Culture and Sport Glasgow.

"Our priority is to maintain a quality public service and sustain core expertise, which takes years to rebuild once it is lost."

Museums Galleries Scotland issued a statement warning that lack of funding could damage the sector.

"One of the biggest challenges faced by public sector services is that they face budget cuts at a time when footfall to museums and galleries in Scotland is up," they suggested.

"This growing demand could potentially be undermined by a lack of investment."

A final Council decision is expected by the end of January.