Wandsworth Museum. Courtesy Wandsworth Borough Council
Mark Taylor, the director of the Museums Association, has urged Wandsworth Borough Council in London to reconsider plans to close Wandsworth Museum.
The museum looks likely to be the victim of funding constraints at the council, which announced proposals to close it following a lower than hoped for budget increase for the coming year.
In a letter to Edward Lister, the leader of Wandsworth Borough Council, the MA director emphasised the key role the museum plays in the local community.
“Wandsworth Museum’s collection has been built up by and for local people,” he wrote. “It is a unique reflection of the identity of the borough and it would be a great loss to the local community if this were lost.”
“I do understand that local government currently faces and unprecedented range of financial pressures, but I urge you not to take any action that will irreversibly damage the services the museum offers to the people of Wandsworth.”
The final decision on the museum’s future will be made on February 19 by the council’s Executive Committee.
Wandsworth Museum receives about 30,000 visitors each year – 8,000 of those in school groups.
Fourteen museums staff would be made redundant with the closure, though council policy is to redeploy employees wherever possible. Alternative places for the museum’s exhibits include schools and three unused chapels.