Today our management team met with Arts Council England’s Yorkshire team in Dewsbury to discuss last week’s decision not to award Sheffield Renaissance Major Grant funding.
Discussion centred on short term implications (our current national funding ends on 31 March and leaves an £800k budget shortfall) and longer term options.
In the short term, the Arts Council are offering ‘transitional funding’ to manage the process of winding down some areas of activity and to pay the redundancy costs of staff currently funded by Renaissance. However, the devastating end result of the grant loss will remain the same.
Transitional funding may also allow us to keep a team together capable of bidding for the Arts Council’s Renaissance Strategic Support fund, details of which are to be released in autumn 2012. It goes without saying that Museums Sheffield intends to bid for strategic support, however it is clear that this fund (c£15m per year, distributed nationally across many museums) will not support anything like the level of funding denied to Sheffield last week. Even if successful in an application for Strategic Support, our national funding will decline dramatically and Museums Sheffield will still be providing a service much reduced from the present level.
The voluntary board of Museums Sheffield meet on Tuesday 1 February to respond to the crisis and will be discussing the Arts Council’s appeals procedure. To better inform this discussion, we have requested full details of our bid assessment from the Arts Council.
As soon as we can, we’ll publish details of the assessment to give a clearer picture as to why our bid was turned down. In the meantime, we urge anyone who is concerned about the impact of this decision on Sheffield to show their support. Details of how best to do this are here
Jan 30 2012