(Above) Sheffield's colourful Weston Park Museum is feeling the pinch of harsh economic times
The organisation responsible for Sheffield’s Weston Park Museum and Millennium Galleries has been bailed out by council cash after running into financial problems.
Museums Sheffield, which has run the key South Yorkshire venues since 1998, was given emergency funding in a move the City Council’s Cabinet said would offer “short-term financial support” for “cash flow problems.”
“We believe it is important to support the museums through this period, but we are confident that over the next two months we will be able to work together and ensure the finances of Museums Sheffield are back on track,” explained City Council Leader Paul Scriven.
“We will also be working with them to develop long-term proposals to ensure that the organisation can avoid similar cash flow problems in the future.”
The council slashed the agency’s budget by 5% in April, challenging organisers to reduce their costs with a £172,000 funding reduction.
Museums Sheffield Chief Executive Nick Dodd told the Sheffield Telegraph a council-backed financial review had concluded the trust was “critically underfunded”.
"Over the past 18 months Museums Sheffield has significantly reduced its expenditure through redundancies, budget cuts, voluntary pay cuts and a freeze on recruitment,” he added.
"The review recognised that in order to maintain the current level of service to the city, Museums Sheffield needs a significant cash injection to re-capitalise the charity and solve the cashflow problems which are limiting its business capabilities.
“We welcome this show of support from Sheffield Council and look forward to working with them to restore our cashflow.”
In November 2008, Dodd announced a “major restructure” following “mindblowing” increases in running costs, resulting in 17 members of staff losing their jobs.
“Our numbers are very healthy and are up year on year but this does not necessarily translate into income,” he conceded.
“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.”