More job losses at Museums Sheffield

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

MUSEUMS Sheffield has taken action to address the £200,000 cut in its funding from Sheffield City Council which will take effect at the beginning of April.

The charity says it hopes to plug the gap in revenue by increasing its business activity but it will result in further redundancies.

Over the next three months Museums Sheffield will streamline its Visitor Services staff to create a new dedicated retail team and at the same time make the commercial space at the Millennium Gallery more flexible to host its own events and to offer a prime city centre venue for corporate and private hire.

Chief Executive Kim Streets said: “Sheffield City Council is facing major financial challenges and while we are disappointed by the proposed 10% reduction in funding, the news was expected. Like many museum and gallery organisations across the UK, Museums Sheffield is faced with the challenge of adapting to survive. We’re doing this by focusing more of our resources on income generating activity whilst reducing expenditure.

“At present there are around 40 people in the Visitor Services team and unfortunately that will mean losing a small number of posts in the re-structure.”

There is no number of redundancies as yet because staff are being consulted in the hope of avoiding some job losses by reducing hours worked.

“Visitors Services remains vital as they are the face of Museums Sheffield,” continued Streets. “In the long term we are striving to become more resilient and better able to cope with a major economic downturn that is likely to affect us for several years to come.”

In an appointment through Arts Council England Strategic Support funding, Rosie Eagleton will next month take up the role of events producer with a brief to draw up a programme of evening activities specifically intended to generate income through ticket and bar sales.

“Some of this will be in partnership with other organisations such as Tramlines, Off the Shelf and the MADE festival and we will also be encouraging people to use our sites for things like weddings and corporate dinners,” said the chief executive.

“We want to encourage people to see our venues in a different way and perhaps come to hear live music and enjoy a glass of wine or a pint but also to become aware of the art on view and our collections.

“This year’s exhibitions in the Millennium Gallery such as Force Of Nature and Designed to Shine – 100 years of Stainless Steel provide a great opportunity to arrange events allied to them. And next year at Weston Park we will be commemorating the anniversary of the start of the First World War and plan special events around that.”