Help us make the case for culture in Sheffield

  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon
  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon
  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon
  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon
  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon
  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon
  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon
  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon
  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon
  • Fearless Drawing with Kerry Lemon

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Last year the Arts Council turned down Museums Sheffield’s application to become a National Portfolio Organisation, despite complimenting our ‘clear, strong, application’. Yesterday, we learned that our application for £1.4m of Renaissance Major Grant funding, cash which has transformed the service we provide for the city since 2004, had also been turned down by the Arts Council.
 
This comes at a time when local authority cuts, passed down from central government, are impacting badly on arts organisations. Our own local authority funding has been cut by 12% in the current year. The combined effect of these cuts means that Museums Sheffield’s budget for 2012/13 will decline by at least 30%.  Large scale staff redundancies, major reductions in exhibition programmes and scaled down learning provision for schools/adults are all now inevitable. 
 
We believe England’s fourth largest city, home to over half a million people and awash with creative talent and potential, deserves better.  Visual art in Sheffield in particular is now grossly underfunded in comparison to the city’s potential. 
 
If you agree, there are a number of ways you can help us make the case for culture in Sheffield.
 
1)  Contact your local councillor and MP and ask them to protest to the Arts Council on your behalf  that culture in Sheffield is being eroded.
 
You can find contact details for your local councillor in Sheffield here

You can find contact details of your local MP in Sheffield here
 
Many councillors and MP’s are also now on Twitter
  
2)  Contact the Arts Council directly, regionally here  and nationally here,  to express your concern that Sheffield is not receiving its fair share of funding. The Arts Council is also on Twitter, regionally here  and nationally here

Thank you for your support.

Jan 25 2012

Comments

  1. Written by Kate McLean about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am disgusted that yet again failure to provide funding for something that is integral to Sheffield and the education of our young people and the possible costs of jobs that leaves yet again more insecurity in this climate is beyond belief. Why don't you improve the situation and have fund this great city with it's fabulous culture and have it continue for future generations to come.

  2. Written by Sally Manuireva about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Knowing the unique contribution that Museums Sheffield make to culture in Sheffield and the region, I'm so shocked at this situation. This is truly a sad day and I entirely support the case to review the situation.

  3. Written by Brigitte Pemberton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Museums in Sheffield are contributing massively to the cultural life of Sheffield. One only needs to visit Western Park Museum and Millennium art gallery to see how people from all backgrounds and age visit the museums and reflect on the past or comment on the art and show pride in our craftsmenship and creativity of past and present exhibits.It is the museums that help us explain to our visitors who we are and what Sheffield has to offer. We must oppose the cuts, save the jobs and increase the funding for Museums in Sheffield.

  4. Written by Joan Crofts about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield needs good visual arts venues to compliment the performing arts venues in this city. If Sheffield is to attract more tourism, which in turn creates more jobs how can we do that if our cultural buildings close through lack of funding. As always it is the easy solution to make cuts to the arts. Sheffield is a creative city, just think of all the design/designers needed for the manufacturing that takes place here. If we are to inspire designers and artists of the future they need spaces that will nurture creativity.Even the victorian philanthropists who built many of the cultural buildings in this city recognised the value and need of art and culture for residents and visitors alike.

  5. Written by Caroline Gaytor about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Why is it that the government so readily cuts funding to the arts to try to save money? The arts are not dispensible..without them the world is a very colourless place. I hope Sheffield will not become a drab and uninspiring place to be because of the shortsightedness of these funding cuts.

  6. Written by Toni Anne Sanderson about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This makes me very sad indeed :(

  7. Written by Jo Brown about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am shocked and saddened by the short-sightedness of Arts Council in withdrawing funding from Museums Sheffield.The city's vibrant cultural life could not be more deserving of this support, and it is to be hoped the situation will be reviewed.

  8. Written by Ryan Cross about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This is really disappointing news for the city of Sheffield. I and many others have been inspired by the hard work that the staff put into their exhibitions to help improve the cultural life that Sheffield has to offer.

  9. Written by caroline about 2 years, 8 months ago

    As an avid visitor of all the museums and galleries of Sheffield throughout my life this makes me so angry at the way in which the arts are cut without a thought to the people it will affect, I am a family support worker and regularly encourage families to visit the museums and show them the excellent facilities we have on offer, let's hope this situation changes and we all have these facilities for our future generations to enjoy

  10. Written by Caroline Krzesinska about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am shocked and saddened that Museums Sheffield may now be unable to continue the truly excellent programmes that have benefited so many people from the city and the wider region. I wholeheartedly support Museums Sheffield’s appeal to review this decision.

  11. Written by Jim Monach about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am appalled that the Arts Council has apparently decided to ignore the claims of Sheffield for support despite its own positive comments about previous funding applications. Sheffield has recently been receiving positive mention in the national press for the vibrancy of its local arts scene, Site One and the abundance of small arts & craft based workshops which have thrived recently. The Sheffield Museums must be an essential part of this overall picture, without which the rest of the community focussed effort will not so easily be sustained. Especially since establishing the link with the V & A, there has been a fascinating and crowd-pulling programme of exhibitions at the Galleries which must be supported. There is no logic to the decision of the Arts Council. They must be asked to think again urgently.


  12. Written by Jeremy Biggin about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield of 30 years ago may well have expected/deserved this news..but the Sheffield of today does not deserve this appalling Arts Council rebuff. The endeavor of the Museums and Galleries team to bring exhibitions to Sheffield (the recent John Martin is a good example...now in London with fanfare and trumpets but hardly a mention in the national media when in Sheffield FIRST!) Weston Park is not only a brilliant museum it encourages particularly children to become actively involved in our environment/culture and that of other parts of the world...Mr Clegg must do his bit...first Forgemasters now the arts!

  13. Written by anna-mercedes wear about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield Museums and Galleries make an invaluable contribution to the culture, history and people of Sheffield. Without the projects they run, the workshops they provide for the schools and communities and the collections they show, Sheffield would be a much duller place to live and work.
    They have recorded and exhibited many a life in Sheffield and they should be given the valuable opportunity to continue to share this unique and important role within the culture of our city.
    I wholeheartedly support their decision to appeal.

  14. Written by Dr Peter Cromar about 2 years, 8 months ago

    The news that the Arts Council has turned down Sheffield’s application for £1.4m of Renaissance Major Grant Funding is a travesty, not only compared with the level of support offered to other cities, but more importantly in failing to recognise the major strides made by the city in encouraging and developing a vibrant cultural environment within which all of the city’s diverse communities can engage and develop their own creativity.
    Sheffield’s work, in partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum, and particularly in collaboration with the Laing Gallery, Newcastle, Norwich City Library, and the Tate has brought major exhibitions to the city, and dare I say it, shown the Tate how to put on an excellent show – in my view the “Restless Times” exhibition was far better done here than at Tate Britain!
    It is not just through this programme of exhibitions that Sheffield has demonstrated its credentials as a serious player in the arts scene but also through the support for local artists and craftsmen and women through initiatives like Persistence Works and its pioneering work in supporting studios and workshops at Manor Oaks and with the Southey Owlerton Area Regeneration initiative. That surely deserves recognition by the Arts Council if they want to be seen as promoting arts and culture as critical lifeblood within a healthy and caring society.
    I hope that the Arts Council will recognise that it needs to rethink its decision and argue its case for more funding from central government, as part of a positive programme of investment for prosperity and growth, rather than distributing the crumbs from a philistine austerity agenda. Sheffield has a critical part to play in developing that agenda, not just in terms of Museums and Arts but also through its other major attributes including the internationally acclaimed Showroom Cinema and its International Documentary Film Festival

  15. Written by trisha morgan about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield Museums are an oasis of stimulation and inspiration for all age groups in Sheffield. I take my toddler grandson regularly to Western Park Museum and my husband and I have just today dropped in to see the excellent "Under the Sea " exibition in the Millenium Gallery.
    At a time of real hardship for many Sheffield families to be able to visit a free indoor art space is a reminder that working class people can still be part of the cultural and artistic life of this country and need not be consigned to looking at the TV. Art for all is the lifeblood of creativity and ideas.
    Regards Trisha Morgan

  16. Written by Sarah Cockburn about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I've written to the Arts Council and my local MP and councillors and urged my friends and colleagues to do the same. This disastrous decision must not be allowed to go through without protest!

  17. Written by Sarah Lamb about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Now that Sheffield has such a good reputation for excellent, free exhibitions in delightful spaces, dont let that slip! Please keep Sheffield cultural.

  18. Written by Ross Wainwright about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It's a sad time if we have to watch Sheffield drift further behind cities such as Leeds and Manchester due to more cuts to our Museums and Heritage. Museums Sheffield and the venues, event and services provided have been a breath of fresh air in recent years and are now even more established and appreciated throughout the city. The younger generation are appreciating our museums and culture more due to their good work which is positive for the local economy and Sheffield in general. There should be a major rethink on this matter!

  19. Written by Catherine Carley about 2 years, 8 months ago

    By deciding not to fund Museums Sheffield ACE have effectively killed off a major part of this city's cultural life. We all know times are tough and there's never enough money to go round but please please please ACE, do not close your eyes and ears to the dire consequences of your decision. This city has a brilliant creative scene and punches well above its weight with its creative output. Having a thriving museum and art scene that actively encourages participation across the whole city and offers a (nearly always free) exhibition programme of outstanding quality is part of the reason that happens. The arts enrich lives and I'm afraid we're going to see a sadder, poorer city if this decision is not reversed.

  20. Written by Paul Allen about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Whilst I totally agree and sympathise with Sheffield Museums and appreciate the wonderful range of services available one has to step back and look at it in the context of the wider situation. Whatever your politics, and whether you blame the failures of successive Governments, bankers or world economics, our country is in more debt than has been experienced in living memory. It will be many years before the recession improves, if at all. We may be looking at a 20 year decline unless the Government pumps resources into industry and the private sector - the key core basic things that pay for the public sector and Arts.

    So whilst I would not wish for these cutbacks to happen to Sheffield Museums at all there are other priorities to consider. So many people have lost their jobs and their homes with many more to come. So far in Sheffield job losses in the public sector have been mainly voluntary but from April they will become compulsory and over the next two to three years until we have a change in central Government. Many more people will be unable to pay their mortgages and loose their homes. Cutbacks in the health services will affect the health and wellbeing of tens of thousands of residents. Cuts to other more essential basic services are being made. For example bin collections every two weeks (just imagine the stench not to mention increase in rats, in the summer). Look at the state of our roads, you always know when you are back in Sheffield when the car starts to bump and grind, it's pot hole city. Look at the cuts to Care homes, farming it all out to the public sector, outsourcing essential services like waste collection, HR and finance so things within the council are now far more inefficient than they ever were. Look at the cuts to the debt recovery service I think they cut the team by half and that was a team that was raking back millions... there are other essential services like environmental health for example that are barely functioning (safe roads, residential care, waste collections, safe food, water, working conditions and housing etc. would be a priority for me) none of it makes any sense. I totally agree that the cuts to the museums form the Arts Council and Local Authority are regrettable but they should also be seen in the context of all the other cut backs. What we need is a change in Government and that will happen at the next election. Good luck to your campaign however and thank you for all the wonderful services you have provided for so long.

  21. Written by Dom Green about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This is such a worry. The museum space in Sheffield is such an important part of the city. If this comes about it will be so regressive.

  22. Written by roger watkin about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Please publish ACE funding per head in other cities so that we can see what the disparities actually are

  23. Written by Mark Wilkinson about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This is sad news indeed but I suppose it reflects the dire straits our country is in economically. I really enjoyed the John Martin exhibition last summer - it was admirably curated and presented. I wonder whether the Arts Council can tap anything off the Olympic extravaganza - or the overpaid footballers? I can't see that a change of government will solve this crisis - after all the previous lot got us into this mess!

  24. Written by Claudia Perry about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It's a tragedy for the cultural richness of our city.

  25. Written by Richard Cooper about 2 years, 8 months ago

    A travety - but no great surprise. Every time there's a Tory
    government Sheffield gets punished for voting Labour.

  26. Written by Pamela Sandford about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This is very bad news for Sheffield. The last few years have seen such improvements in the cultural life of the city: vibrant theatres,good audiences at concerts, revitalised art galleries in the heart of the city. These help bring visitors and money to Sheffield. Most importantly we need creative endeavour to bring hope and pleasure at this time of austerity.

  27. Written by Jane Hipperson about 2 years, 8 months ago

    John Ruskin believed the workers of Sheffield should have their eyes opened to the beauty in nature and honest crafts. Perhaps the Arts Council thinks the residents of Sheffield no longer deserve to look upon such uplifting exhibitions as increasing numbers of us are losing our status as workers? I'm devastated for the wonderful staff of Museums Sheffield who don't deserve this lack of respect for their contribution to the mental wellbeing of the populace of the city.

  28. Written by Heather Dewick about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield's arts scene over the last few years has become a big part of the city's identity, something to be proud of, and Museums Sheffield has been very prominent in this. It is very sad news.

  29. Written by Thelma Harvey about 2 years, 8 months ago

    As a Londoner converted to all things Sheffield I am so sad to think that the vibrant cultural life of this city can be subjected to cuts in this way. What will be there be to support the local artists and craftsmen so important to Sheffield? I appreciate the need for cuts but if creativity is not nutured people's hope will die.

  30. Written by Craig Broadwith about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Although it was described as a "provincial museum" by a Sheffield University academic (shame on her) the fact that Weston Park holds an important example of England's Anglo Saxon heritage, a unique example of a warriors helmet (amongst many other related exhibits), is important, just on its own. It illustates the context of the Staffordshire Horde, and the historic Anglo Saxon boundary between Northumbria and Mercia, which Sheffield lies on. This, amongst the other brilliant displays of the regions cultural and historic legacy can't be under estimated. What ever support I can give I will.(PS My daughters image is still on display showing "what we value" in the Museum. So the cuts, and the denial of Arts Council funding are a personal insult.)

  31. Written by Stephen Carley about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Hmmm, Queens Yacht going to cost £60million…
    Priorities?
    A really bad decision this by ACE.
    Hey, arts council – Sheffield is the fourth largest city in the UK you know!
    This city deserves much much more than this.
    As an artist and head of art at King Edward V11, I have only admiration for the brilliant professionals working for Museums Sheffield, many of whom will lose their jobs if this goes ahead.
    Many of my students have been involved in inspirational projects over the past few years through the Youth Forum and numerous other artist led projects linked to the exhibition programme. Short term this radically enhances the work they are able to do in school.
    The longer-term benefits of the Education programme is seen year after year as students choose art and design as a vibrant, exciting career route. Their involvement in projects such as the Youth Forum giving them a very real experience of art and design outside of the school context.
    There is an exhibition at the Graves at the moment – The BLK Art Group. We were set to involve 75 Y10 students in a series of artist led workshops that are now very unlikely to happen. It would have been a unique and eye opening experience for these students, one of many opportunities that will be lost to young people in Sheffield.
    It may not seem important to some people, but experience of the arts changes lives for the better. This decision by ACE effectively denies young people in Sheffield the opportunity to find a creative voice – one that isn’t simply defined by a grade.
    Still, as long as the school league tables show the correct number of A*- C grades measured against the Ebac, who gives a toss?

  32. Written by Alison Yeardley about 2 years, 8 months ago

    That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings.
    John Ruskin

    Having spent many a happy hour in Sheffield Museums, I beg that the funding of them be reviewed.


  33. Written by Paul Leader about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Shame!
    My kids visit the museums regularly and love to see images and artifacts of the industry that the last conservative government destroyed as well as hear stories of the culture and community that their last PM denied existed.

  34. Written by David Kavanagh about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. ~Stella Adler

    I think in this climate of austerity, cut backs, the tightening of belts etc etc. It always seems to be the soft targets (the arts etc) which suffer the deepest and usually first round of cuts. Why don't Governments grow some ba**s and tackle all the waste, the cheats and the evaders first. I am sure if they were to sort those out, then there would be plenty left in the pot.

  35. Written by Amy Hutchins about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield has come on leaps and bounds in terms of cultural and open spaces therefore I am shocked and saddened that Museums Sheffield may now be unable to continue its great work that have benefited so many people. I fully support Museums Sheffield’s appeal to review this decision.

  36. Written by Flora Jafarzade about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a crushing, shocking decision.

    The leaps and bounds that have been made by Museums Sheffield in the last 8 years have been wonderful and provide so much pleasure and stimulation to so many Sheffielders and those from beyond.

    It is imperative that a city this size does not slide back, culturally, to the state that it was in when I was a child in the eighties, when everything was run down and rubbish.

  37. Written by Umberto Albarella about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This just shows where political priorities are (i.e. in supporting big business); Sheffield is a wonderful city but, for the 4th largest city in the country, it is culturally massively underfunded and under-supported. The Sheffield Museum is an integral part of the life of city and lack of funding will inevitably lead to its neglect. This is disastrous for the city as a whole and will have detrimental effects for years to come. The amount of money that has been refused to the museum is just slightly higher than the bonus that the Royal Bank of Scotland has awarded to its boss - one person as opposed to a whole community. This just says something about the world in which we live and it requires a robust reaction.

  38. Written by Pauline Eveleigh about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It was with horror that I heard the announcement that the Arts Council had decided not to allocate funding to Sheffield Museums under the Renaissance Major Grants scheme. The building of the Millennium Galleries, as part of the Heart of the City programme, breathed fresh air into Sheffield's cultural offer. For over a decade visitors to Sheffield and all local people have been able to enjoy an exciting programme of exhibitions at each of the Trust's sites. It has been instrumental in establishing a thriving arts scene. The education programmes offered have ensured that young people's horizons have been widened.Visitor figures of over amillion people a year demonstrate just how much the services offerd by Museum Sheffield are valued. I, like everyone else in this country, realise that cuts in spending have to be made but I fail to understand why Sheffield should experience such drastic measures. Having demonstrated what a valuable contribution to all our lives the work of Museums Sheffield makes I sincerely hope that the Arts Council will review its position and seek to find a Sheffield solution.

  39. Written by Christine Healey about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield has suffered some appalling setbacks over the last twenty years or so, and its wonderful Museums and Galleries have been one of the consolations for its residents.
    Museums Sheffield has made exceptional strides forward in the quality and accessibility of facilities, and recently faced up to staff and service cuts resulting from savage local council funding reductions. Neither the organisation nor the people of Sheffield deserve this latest blow to the quality of our cultural life.

  40. Written by Hannah Norris about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a terrible decision by the Arts Council. Museum Sheffield's impact on the city and its residents has been huge.
    I can only hope that this decision will be reversed with lots of pressure from Sheffield residents and friends of the museum.

  41. Written by Hannah Lunt about 2 years, 8 months ago

    A desperately poor decision lacking reasonable justification and logic. Once again it becomes obvious how little the arts are truly valued and how oblivious we as a nation still are to the vitality of the arts within society.

  42. Written by Louise Barnett about 2 years, 8 months ago

    The cuts in funding to this fantastic city are really saddening, and this combined with the fact that a great friend of mine has done fantastic work for Museums Sheffield over the past few years means I fully support any attempts to reverse this decision.

  43. Written by Alan & Hilda Wisbey about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Message to the Chief Executive of the Arts Council for England

    As residents of Sheffield and long-term supporters of the Museums and Galleries in this city we are writing to express our dismay at your decision to withhold funding from our museums, a decision which will result in their
    being directed towards the wilderness. You must know that the denial of
    funding just announced will cripple the ability of our Museums to maintain
    the fine service they have latterly been providing. So much has been
    done here over the last decade or so to improve the cultural life of the city; so much human and financial investment has been made to excellent
    effect. Our museums and galleries make really significant contribution to
    the cultural life of the city, and to the education sector. Yet now that endeavour is to be disregarded, the work apparently allowed to wither, the human resources which have made all the difference put out of work and dispersed to the winds, the last decade's investment wasted - all that will inevitably happen given the lack of funding the Museums Trust now has to suffer.

    Everyone knows that money is tight. But this decision, to withhold grant,
    is so unfair, so partial, as if this city, as compared with others, is not
    worth supporting and can be thrown to the vandals. We realise that
    Sheffield doesn't have the same cultural, artistic, historical, record as others in Yorkshire - say York and Leeds. They were grander commercial cities than Sheffield; and Sheffield's historical legacy is mainly of
    industrial endeavour and achievement. But insofar as Sheffield was (and
    maybe still is?) regarded as a poor relation to those grander cities, living as it used to (though, to the surprise of some, it doesn't any longer) under its appalling layer of smoke, does it not anyway deserve more support to enable it to establish and maintain an excellent cultural service to its
    citizens? Why is it, may we ask, that (as we have now learned) Sheffield
    receives from the Arts Council a mere £4.62 per head of population while
    Leeds gets £20.32 and Nottingham £13.06. We accept that judgments have to
    be made, and don't expect absolute parity among cities, but the diffentials here are grotesque.

    We would implore you to make re-appraisal of this decision, so that we in Sheffield can have something more like a fair share of the resources available.


    Allan and Hilda Wisbey

  44. Written by Mark Feakins about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Shame on you ACE. Yet another poor decision without any apparent basis. Have you any knowledge of Sheffield, it's people or it's culture? Has anyone actually bothered to walk the streets of the city and see what the museums and galleries have done and continue to do in contributing to a new vibrancy and pride in this city?

    Why is Sheffield ignored over Leeds or Manchester? Is the policy - they have a lot already so they should get more?

    I am ashamed to have worked within the arts industry for over 20 years and see the national Arts Council being so poorly operated.

  45. Written by Lis Hamilton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    How sad that the importance of Culture and these wonderful museums in Sheffield ranks so low a priority in political circules. Is this the Government trying to ensure Nick Clegg never gets re-elected by his constituency???? Can it really be such a coinsidence? There can be no other reason to deprize the people of Sheffield of these amazing museums and the important social spaces they provide.

  46. Written by Toby Lyons about 2 years, 8 months ago

    For the Graphic design teaching team at Sheffield Hallam Uni, this is a potentially huge loss to our students in terms of cultural awareness, currency and learning. Apparently the resources (staff, exhibition budgets etc) of Sheffield’s public galleries are going to be drastically, and the benefits to our students will be lost for some time to come. Needless to say this will make the cultural environment of Sheffield poorer and less attractive to incoming students, eager to study in a city known for its vibrant visual culture. We make a point of including the Millennium Gallery exhibitions in our first year student inductions every year, and I know other course tutors do this too; we would like to express our enthusiastic support for this valuable resource and service.

  47. Written by Alice Barnett about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I lived in Sheffield for 2 years and to this day it holds a truly special place in my heart - this is no small part down to the cultural environment and on going events. Museums Sheffield not only offer a huge array of arts and education to the population but they also provide a truly indespensible service to local schools and youth organisations. Without this artistic outlet many children will be hugely disadvantaged in the future. These cuts make me shudder, particularly as I have watched one of my best friends work tirelessly with her colleagues to make a difference. She and Sheffield deserve better, I will support this cause in any way I can and encourage others to do the same.

  48. Written by Elizabeth Underwood about 2 years, 8 months ago

    So we're all in this together! Not a message from the Coalition that ACE seems to have heeded,when we look at the comparative per head arts funding figures for other cities in Yorkshire. Amongst the many troubling aspects of this decision, one stands out for me: that as a city we risk the unravelling of the renaissance we have seen over the last 10 years - the upgrading of the train station,the building of the Winter Garden are just the most high profile and the return to artistic prominence of the Crucible theatre. More power to the elbow of Museums Sheffield in its appeal against this decision.

  49. Written by Mick Marston about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield receives lowest arts funding per head outside London at £4.62; Nottingham £13.06, Manchester £17.75 , Leeds £20.32. This is outrageous and does nothing to dispel the myth that those in positions of power seem to have something against Sheffield.

  50. Written by Denise Edwards about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Have any of the people who makes these crazy decisions visited the Museums in Sheffield lately? If they had, they would have experienced one of the most friendly, accessible, life enhancing places in a vibrant, exciting and fun city. Share the money out more fairly - Sheffield needs it more than most.

  51. Written by Anne Greaves about 2 years, 8 months ago

    My email to the Chief Executive of Arts Council England:

    I, like many other Sheffield residents, was dismayed to learn this week that Museums Sheffield's bid for Renaissance funding has been turned down by the Arts Council. I'm writing to register my disappointment with your decision and ask you to reconsider how the money has been distributed or to find an alternative funding option for Sheffield.

    The museum programme in Sheffield has improved tremendously over the last few years and I've enjoyed many afternoons browsing exhibitions such as Space Age, John Martin ‘Painting the Apocalypse’ and Kid Acne ‘Kill Your Darlings’. In fact John Martin is one of my favourite painters and I was extremely excited to see so much of his work here in my home city. What a boon for Sheffield to have an exhibition of such national importance.

    I’ve also been proud to take friends and family from Leeds, London and Lancashire to exhibitions at the Millennium Gallery and Weston Park Museum. Each and every one of them has been inspired by their visits and has gone away with a much better impression of Sheffield – they’ve seen the city for the lovely, creative place it really is and not the grimy stereotype of years ago.

    Local children will be much worse off with the reduced exhibition programme the lack of funding will result in. Every time I visit Weston Park Museum I see children having fun in the special exhibitions – just last weekend in fact I went to see China: Journey to the East and several young children were enjoying playing with Chinese puppets and listening to old musical instruments. Where else are they going to be exposed to a different culture like that?

    Sheffield isn’t a rich city, unlike some of the cities that have benefitted from Renaissance funding allocation this week, and we need an income boost to continue running museum programmes that benefit local residents and attract visitors. I’m happy that Leeds and York have received funding but don’t see why their success should mean Sheffield is left with none – with the amount of tourist income in York and business investment in Leeds, surely Sheffield needs the money more?

    I hope that you will pay attention to this email, and those of many other Museums Sheffield supporters, and that ultimately you will find a way to provide our city with a much-needed funding boost.

  52. Written by Woodsy about 2 years, 8 months ago

    The Tory cuts are disgusting and the fact that that they are being made due to the greed of our banking system, the big companies who refuse to pay their fair share of taxes and a Tory government hell bent on making the poor pay for the greed and mistakes of the rich is disgusting.
    However, and I know there'll be howls of indignation over this, when the NHS is in difficulties, cuts to much needed services are being made - such as drug and alcohol counselling, homelessness, etc, and access to for people with disabilities to benefits are being shredded by Atos etc. I somehow think the cultural sector not being able to purchase a few paintings pales into insignificance when there are people losing homes, benefits they depend upon to survive, the health service is crumbling and people in desperate need of helop via vital services are going without. it is all a matter of priority, and cultural pursuits, although important for education and widening horizons I don't disagree, there are far more deserving causes for the money the government is clawing from the poor to cover up the deficit that the rich have left us in.

  53. Written by Alex Woodall about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield's collections, particularly its 20th century British art, are wonderful - the impact of these cuts will be tragic - not just on the hard-working staff, the people of Sheffield and visitors from further afield, but also on the objects in the collections.
    My belief is that the biggest risk to a collection is that nobody will be able to access it.

  54. Written by Deborah Chadbourn about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Sheffield is the fourth largest city in the country and yet has a very limited cultural offer compared with other cities. Visiting exhibitions can’t happen without additional funding, and without additional funding to Museums Sheffield, the people of Sheffield will have to travel elsewhere for high-profile, touring exhibitions. In these days of high-cost fuel and rail-tickets, that is simply not an option for many, many people.

    In rejecting this application, it feels as if the Arts Council is potentially cutting off over half a million people from engaging with incoming exhibitions of scale or distinction. Sure, Museums Sheffield has a permanent collection with some great pieces, but without incoming exhibitions to attract new and returning visitors, its not enough to sustain people’s interest. It’s a real blow to Sheffield, the city and its people, as well as to Museums Sheffield. It seems as if the people of Sheffield will never get the chance for more engagement with culture; already poor and getting poorer.

    Of course we know that times are hard, but why turn down funding for one of the few cultural providers that has made a huge difference in a city with very little on offer in the visual arts. This seems like a grossly unfair decision, and I hope that ACE and Sheffield City Council will find a way to work together to ensure that the people of Sheffield are not denied the level of access to culture that they deserve.

  55. Written by Alisa Richardson about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am shocked and horrified to hear that Museums Sheffield's Renaissance funding application has been unsuccessful. Having worked within the exhibitions team at Museums Sheffield for 7 years, I know that the staff there work desperately hard to present exhibitions and programmes to the people of Sheffield that are of national, indeed international significance and importance. Not only this, but exhibitions and programmes at Sheffield are presented with such intelligence and panache that colleagues from other museums, including the nationals, are usually blown away, and blown away at how such results can be achieved with such small budgets! Isn't it a shame that an organisation that refreshingly achieves so much with so little public money, should have even that meagre allocation snatched away!

  56. Written by Derek Whiteley about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Us folk out here in the Peak District, and people in the rest of South Yorkshire look to Weston Park as our local museum for natural history. Derby, Doncaster and Rotherham have let their curators go, so Sheffield is the only place left with natural history curators. If they go with the cuts what hope is there for the collections that have been cared for and accessed since 1875?

  57. Written by P Brash about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Without the work of Museums Sheffield, who will celebrate the unique contribution this great city has made to the history of Britain? By turning down Sheffield's grant application ACE are not only ignoring the past they are denying the future. Who will educate and inspire the next generation in this city?

  58. Written by P Brash about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Without the work of Museums Sheffield, who will celebrate the unique contribution this great city has made to the history of Britain? By turning down Sheffield's grant application ACE are not only ignoring the past they are denying the future. Who will educate and inspire the next generation in this city?

  59. Written by P Brash about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Without the work of Museums Sheffield, who will celebrate the unique contribution this great city has made to the history of Britain? By turning down Sheffield's grant application ACE are not only ignoring the past they are denying the future. Who will educate and inspire the next generation in this city?

  60. Written by Carol Brown about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I've known Sheffield for ten years and lived here for a year and I'm proud of my new home. The money invested in the cultural life of the city over the last ten years has been well spent, and to spectacular effect. Have the Arts Council considered the value they would get from every penny of invested funds here? The Museums are well run, well used, well loved and enrich the lives of so many. They should be nurtured for the continuing benefit of the city and its people.

  61. Written by Bracken Devlin about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Just because we're northern, doesn't mean we don't love art. Everybody deserves the opportunity to experience culture. Whats the point in life if there's nothing interesting, beautiful or inspiring?

  62. Written by Olivia Burton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Can't believe that Museums Sheffield's Renaissance funding application has been unsuccessful!! What will become of Art in Sheffield now! :(

  63. Written by Doreen about 2 years, 8 months ago

    We visisted Weston park museum last week/end with our granddaughter, there were so many people there, and there was so much for the children to do and see. It is such a marvellous place. The Millennium gallery has transforned the centre of Sheffield, and has brought so many wonderful exhibitions, and arranged excursions out from Sheffield to amazing exhibitions. London has so much,but
    not everyone can afford to go there.Why are the Arts council so blikered,when the staff at Museums Seffield are so enthusiastic and open minded but blighted by lack of funds. Dreadful!

  64. Written by Derek Bateson about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I cannot believe what I have read in the local papers yesterday and today from Paul Richards at the museum about the spending cuts. As far as natural history goes, and speaking as a former President of Sorby Natural History Society in Sheffield, now that we have lost both Doncaster and Rotherham museums, how can the powers that be allow the wonderful collections at Weston Park go uncurated for scholars, natural history societies, educational establishments and future generations of our children. What is Nick Clegg doing about this?

  65. Written by j gill about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This isn't a cut , it's a total wipe out.
    Devastating for the people who will lose their jobs, devastating for everyone who use and love Sheffield's museums and galleries and devastating for the culture and economy of our city.
    Once we lose this we won't get it back.

  66. Written by Nick Nuttgens about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I don't know what ACE's reasons were but I agree with everyone who feels that this will impoverish the city culturally. The vibrancy of the galleries and the visiting exhibitions has been a delightful and prominent feature of the improvements made to the city over the last ten years, enhancing the pleasure of living here and perhaps even the prospects of inward investment. Sadly, there are going to be lots more cuts this year, in many areas of spending, as Paul Allen points out, and not only ACE but Local Authorities will have to make unpleasant decisions. However, I don't think we should get sucked into debating the pros and cons of heritage vs. housing etc; we should all be more vocal in challenging the government on the case for cuts. There are strong arguments against the cuts that get very little airing in the media. If the rich and the big corporations paid their taxes, none of this would be necessary.

  67. Written by Peter Feetham, Primary School Teacher about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I accompanied a class of 8 year-olds to see the 'China' exhibition at Weston Park Museum a couple of weeks ago as this was their topic for the term - in fact, the topic was chosen BECAUSE of the exhibition. The children loved it, it was free and the only cost was a tram ride to the centre of town.
    These children do not come from wealthy families. Their families would not be able financially to travel to other larger cities such as London to see something as educationally important as this. It was fantastic to have an exhibition on our doorstep and for Museum Sheffield to allow Sheffield children the opportunity to experience something they would otherwise not be able to.
    The Arts Council should be ashamed of themselves.

  68. Written by Olivia Punnett about 2 years, 8 months ago

    When you look at funding for neighboring city's such as Leeds Nottingham, and Manchester, and their comparable size, I just can't believe that Sheffield is suffering this loss when managing on so much less anyway! If there is a place that Needs this funding and continued support it is the 'manufacturing' town of Sheffield. Its lost so much and needs this backing.

  69. Written by Alex Armitage about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I wholeheartedly agree with the following quote from Melvin Bragg

    How much more do the arts in this country have to prove? It bears repeating that for every pound the Government invest, up to £15 is generated. About 2 million highly skilled people are employed in the field. From a modest start after World War II they have burgeoned into an aurora of lights—London, the world centre of music and theatre, as we heard, and a constellation of interdependent disciplines; more book festivals than any other country on the planet; contesting with America for the lead in musicals, the fine arts, films and pop music, with our television and radio richly irrigating the process. It works, it grows. Why slash it? What gain is there?

  70. Written by Mark B about 2 years, 8 months ago

    As I just posted elsewhere.. I went to Weston Park today with my sister and her horde, visiting from Leeds, after they did the Park Run this morning. Museum is excellent as always, all the kids love it as do the adults, though some bits starting to look a little shabby, broken interactive stuff not replaced etc. The current China exhibition is beautiful, understated but fascinating. Chucked £5 in donation box. Is it enough? Considering becoming a Friend Of Sheffield Museums. Bloody government. Like to set Snowy the Polar Bear and Spike the Woolly Rhino loose in the Houses Of Parliament. Grrrrrr.....

  71. Written by Hazel Scott about 2 years, 8 months ago

    My kids, now 13 and 18, grew up pulling out draws of colourful butterflies and beetles, and looking up at a giant polar bear, marvelling at magical pieces of silverware, guessing if the queen had used this candlestick or a princess used that teapot. We would spend ages staring at the oil paintings guessing what the characters were up to, the three sisters in their party frocks, the convalescent in the garden... As a teen my eldest was mesmerised by the Vivienne Westwood exhibition and is now doing a fashion degree. I work in town and when I need a break from my computer screen I walk five minutes and see gorgeous things in the museums and galleries. Twice I've sat in the dark and been moved to tears by the Ian Breakwell film. I'd be gutted to lose any of this, we are so very lucky to have it. What next? Taking the plants out of the botanical gardens to keep costs down?

  72. Written by Dr Chris Cumberpatch about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Text of a letter from RESCUE - The British Archaeological Trust to Dame Elizabeth Forgan, head of the ACE. Copies to Hedley Swain (ACE), Nick Dodds (Sheffield Museums) and Jeremy Hunt (DCMS:

    Dear Dame Elizabeth,

    I am writing to you on behalf of RESCUE –The British Archaeological Trust (www.rescue-archaeology.org.uk) to express the concern felt by members of the Trust at the decision to not to fund Sheffield Museums under the Renaissance Major Grants scheme. This decision will have a major impact on the future development of the museums and, I understand, will lead to staff cuts in a service that has already suffered greatly in this respect in recent years. RESCUE supports the appeal by Sheffield Museums to have the decision reviewed.
    I would draw your attention specifically to the fact that Sheffield Museums have had no Keeper of Archaeology in post since at least 2009. This has had a major impact on one of the core responsibilities of any regional museum, the housing, care and curation of archaeological archives from excavations carried out by the commercial sector and by local amateur and voluntary archaeological and local history groups. The lack of a Keeper also means that the archaeological archives already held by the museum are not accessible to researchers. The result of this is that no one, whether an academic, a professional archaeologist or a member of one of the many bona fide local groups can currently use the archives which include collections of national significance. This inevitably precludes the creation of new knowledge and new interpretations based upon the study of the archives and strikes at the heart of archaeology as an interpretative discipline. A further direct effect of the lack of a Keeper of Archaeology is that the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service (which provides archaeological advice to the Councils of Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham) is recommending a complete ban on archaeological excavation on land owned by Sheffield City Council as the archives cannot be deposited with the museum. The effect of this will be to prohibit local community groups from undertaking archaeological research within their local area if Council land is involved and may well lead to other landowners taking similar action. As you will be aware, community archaeology projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund represent an important means of stimulating local engagement and of promoting community inclusivity. As such projects have had a demonstrable effect in reducing in anti-social behaviour this policy is likely to have a ‘knock-on’ effect on wider society in South Yorkshire as well as effectively freezing archaeological research by the amateur/voluntary sector in Sheffield. This is in no one’s interest and is actively counter to the interests of all those who live within the collecting area of Sheffield Museums. Given these circumstances, I urge you to reconsider the decision to withhold grant aid from Sheffield Museums. I look forward to your response which may be posted on our website in order to inform our members of developments in this case.

    Yrs etc
    Diana Friendship-Taylor
    Chair
    RESCUE - The British Archaeological Trust

    www.rescue-archaeology.org.uk

  73. Written by Mike Reynolds about 2 years, 8 months ago

    The decisions over funding by the Arts Council and then by the City Council are a double whammy for Museums Sheffield. It is as though all the good work that has been achieved over the past ten years is being unravelled, in the Graves and Millenium Galleries and Weston Park. A major public campaign is needed to restore what will be lost. I am particularly saddened by the loss of the links with the V and A and the major touring exhibitions that we in Sheffield have benefitted so much from, for instance, the Francis Bacon, the Constable, the English cartoonists, etc., etc.

  74. Written by Liz Morton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Essentially they’ve removed nearly £2 million of arts funding from South Yorkshire in 2 years. What is ACE’s ‘geographical strategy'? South Yorkshire Museums and Art Galleries are well used by people who live in Derbyshire and the East midlands too. Nothing comparable has been given to anywhere,it seems, within the triangle of Birmingham Cambridge and Manchester.
    The descision to allow this to happen is wrong and must be reconsidered urgently before it is too late. Once destroyed,Sheffields rich cultural resources will be lost for good. Talented staff who work so hard to maintain their current high standards, will be lost as they will have to seek employment elsewhere.

  75. Written by Linda Doughty about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I'm absolutely stunned and appalled by the latest refusal of the Arts Council to fund Sheffield museums and galleries. Surely they could have at least shared the money between Leeds, York and Sheffield? The galleries here are some of the best in the country and provide fantastic exhibitions as well as events. To have funding cut so drastically is unbelievable and completely devastating. I hope the Arts Council and others change their minds before it's too late and Sheffield's cultural heritage is permanently damaged.

  76. Written by Rosemary Grist about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a sad day for Sheffield. All the hard work that has been put in to make this a city of culture second to none looks like being to no avail. Once the Arts are lost it will be harder work to bring them back. We need some pleasure in life during these gloomy times - not everything being taken away. THINK AGAIN ARTS COUNCIL for the sake of the children and people of Sheffield - from a regular visitor to Sheffield

  77. Written by Kate Murphy about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Weston Park Museum is one of very few places in Sheffield where we can take children on educational visits that is likely to transfer into out-of-school, family- and child- led learning.

    It is a brilliant learning environment, and the workshops offered are fantastic. Because it is on the tram route and entry to the museum is free, it is a viable place for us to take our school children, who are from an economically deprived area.

    We are set the expectation that all children, regardless of social and economic backgrounds, will achieve the same high standards, and yet access to equal opportunity is being denied.

  78. Written by liz morton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Written by Liz Morton about 2 hours, 35 min ago

    Essentially they’ve removed nearly £2 million of arts funding from South Yorkshire in 2 years. What is ACE’s ‘geographical strategy'? South Yorkshire Museums and Art Galleries are well used by people who live in Derbyshire and the East midlands too. Nothing comparable has been given to anywhere,it seems, within the triangle of Birmingham Cambridge and Manchester.
    The descision to allow this to happen is wrong and must be reconsidered urgently before it is too late. Once destroyed,Sheffields rich cultural resources will be lost for good. Talented staff who work so hard to maintain their current high standards, will be lost as they will have to seek employment elsewhere.

  79. Written by Jane Louth about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Copy of an email sent to Nick Clegg today -
    Dear Nick Clegg,
    I’m writing to express my anger and dismay at the unfair treatment Sheffield is receiving from the Arts Council. For our city to be the victim of such a drastic reduction in funding for museums and galleries, at a time of general austerity, is a major blow and will mean that the cultural programme, from which we have all benefitted, will be unsustainable. We appear to be suffering disproportionately when compared to other similar cities – I believe that Leeds receives £20.32 per head of population and Sheffield a paltry £4.62! I appeal to you, as our MP and Deputy Prime Minister, to bring pressure to bear on the Arts Council to reverse this draconian decision and enable Sheffield, as the fourth largest city in the country, to resume the excellent arts programme that enriches the lives of people in the city and surrounding areas.
    Yours sincerely,
    Jane Louth

  80. Written by Bec Ackroyd about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This news has really saddened our family and many others we know. As a non-native to Sheffield these centres have not only provided a unique education in the local culture and history for myself but also a much more far-reaching education for the whole family. Our children have practically been raised in these spaces, role-playing as butchers, unlocking (literally) the doors to the past, touching, feeling and sensing art and history in their unique way. One of the many joys of living in this great city is the wealth of such sources of art and culture and crucially education. As many others have written above, these facilities are accessible to all members of society at all levels and this is what bonds the community of this giant village. Please don't deprive the people of Sheffield, and indeed the many visitors to the city, of these gems. We have entertained many visitors, among them from Sweden, the US, and Spain, all of whom applaud our city and indeed our country for providing such facilities. This accolade counts for nothing if these cuts are enforced and hit the many proud beneficiaries below the belt.

  81. Written by Rebecca Hutten about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Bad decision, and backward step. Sheffield is the fourth largest city in Britain and now has a bleak future ahead, cast out in to the cultural wilderness. Nick Clegg please resist this and defend our right to a cultural life.

  82. Written by Barry Veal about 2 years, 8 months ago

    As someone who travels regularly from North Lincs to visit the museums and galleries in Sheffield, I feel that the culture of Sheffield with these thoughtless cuts will be damaged, possibley beyond repair.

    In these difficult financial times, most clear thinking people know that we all have to make sacrifices but, when we all need a lift music,theatre,museums and art galleries are there for all of us and should not be used as just another way to balance the books.

    I can only hope that there will be a rethink and that the funding will not be cut.

  83. Written by Christine Hamilton BDS about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a sad day for Sheffield. All the hard work put in to make this a city of culture second to none looks like being to no avail. Once the Arts are lost it will be harder work to bring them back. We lost industry, now trying to rebuild we have the rug pulled from under us yet again. Bye bye Mr Clegg. THINK AGAIN ARTS COUNCIL. The decision to allow this to happen is flawed, and must be considered again urgently. Once gone, its gone forever. Sheffields rich cultural resources will be lost.
    Talented staff who work hard to maintain valuable resources to the arts and the public at large, will be lost as they will have to seek employment elsewhere.

  84. Written by Ron Clayton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I could not agree more with the above final comment. Kim Streets and her colleagues,to my personal knowledge, have worked out of their roles in respect of the underesourced field of local archaelogy,been the bearers of bad news and fielded difficult and searching questions. Yet their personal concerns have never outweighed their professionalism. This is a real slap in the face for them, the cheerful front line staff and Sheffield and Sheffielders.

  85. Written by Eva Lamb about 2 years, 8 months ago

    So sad ...
    It seems that it is always the young and the most vulnerable who always get hit first and the hardest. This is another major blow and will mean that the cultural programme, from which we have all benefitted and but which our young people need the most, will be unsustainable. Sheffield has made such good use of such little support that it seems to be so sad that even this little is now taken away. A sad day for our city, but most of all for our young people.

  86. Written by Gemma Travis about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a sad day for the future of Sheffield!! Yet another blow for the city of Sheffield and our society. Another step backwards whilst other cities are progressing!!!

  87. Written by Mr Peter Marsh about 2 years, 8 months ago

    How wonderful for the people of Sheffield to be told that their bid was unsuccessful but that the Leeds bid triumphed. How much better the announcement sounds when commented on by the Regional Director for Yorkshire ( Leeds based) with the following:-

    "We appreciate how disappointing this news is for Sheffield Museums.
    Yorkshire has an incredibly strong museums offer, which was reflected in the high quality of applications we received from the region, and it was with regret that we couldn't fund Sheffield Museums as a Major partner.
    But with applications nationwide amounting to double the budget available, we had to make some really difficult choices in order to achieve the best result we could for the wider museums sector, and for audiences across the country."

    So it would appear that it's OK for Sheffield to fail to get funding as there is the rest of the country (and County) to consider.

    Never mind, we can always travel to Leeds to see the sort of exhibitions we've become used to in Sheffield and whilst there we can visit the soon to be opened Leeds Arena which has been part funded (£18m) by another regional body based in Leeds.Let's go the whole hog and become the southern service of Radio Leeds - it appears to be the BBC's ambition
    after all.

  88. Written by Dr Kate Pahl about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I was extremely concerned to hear about the budget cuts to Museums Sheffield. I work in the field of family learning and literacy as well as cultural regeneration and community engagement. This action will halt the incredibly valuable work Museums Sheffield have done in engaging parents and children across the city, and in particular engaging with families who might otherwise not access museums services. I am extremely concerned as I have been developing evidence, with colleagues, on the importance of the museums in Sheffield in supporting language and literacy for young children thus contributing to the City of Sheffield's aim to encourage every child to be literate by age 11. In addition, I was in the process of developing a powerful and exciting proposal with Museums Sheffield on community engagement which focused on the role of young people and their involvement in the cultural sector in Sheffield. This valuable work is now at risk due to this decision, which contributes to the ever problematic down grading of cultural resources out of London and the South East. I would urge the Arts Council to reconsider their decision.

  89. Written by Mike Simpkin about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Last May I listed to myself all the diverse cultural events in arts, music, theatre, cinema and literature which I had attended or would have like to attend in the previous fortnight. After more than 35 years in Sheffield, I thought this was an incredible highpoint - though I feared that if we did not win the City of Culture, it might all dissipate. We had the Council, the Universities, the Cathedral, Museums Sheffield and some of the independents actually willing to work together. Now the Government and the Arts Council are triggering the decline. Although the Arts Council did last year recognise some of the vibrancy in Sheffield by refunding the vastly improved Site Gallery and S1Artspace, it does not seem to realise how important the underlay of municipal support is. I don't think that Museums Sheffield has always done as well as it might but it does not deserve this trashing especally because, as others above point out, we don't have the the wealth of Leeds or, proportionately, York.
    During the 80s my children suffered from Thatcher's cuts - including swimming and music lessons - at a crucial stage in their development. Now another generation of Sheffield children is being deprived.

  90. Written by Paul Tetley about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Nick Clegg and his band of cronies strke again
    Queens Yacht 60 million no help for forgemasters, New train line going to Birmingham and back for no reason . Now the museums have funding cuts.Last man out turn out he light. OH sorry I forgot this goverment turned out the lights the day they took office

  91. Written by Laurie Petch about 2 years, 8 months ago

    We will not save anything or serve anyone by committing cultural vandalism. This is precisely the type of resource that is vital for teaching narrative history, design skills and so many other elements of the curriculum that have been highlighted as important by the present Government.

  92. Written by M Bowen about 2 years, 8 months ago

    A completely devastating decision for a great museum and collection. Another lose for the craft and design sector.

  93. Written by Rob Hindle about 2 years, 8 months ago

    As someone who has worked both professionally for the WEA and personally as a writer for many years to engage people from across Sheffield in arts activities, I am appalled by the decision of the Arts Council not to fund Museums Sheffield. While other museums in the region have no doubt been worthy recipients of AC money under the Renaissance programme, Museums Sheffield have transformed access to the arts in the city, particularly for those parts of the community traditionally excluded from it.

  94. Written by Paul Gray about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Once culture dies in the City, the heart of the City dies.

    I have always regarded Sheffield as one of the four best served Cities in the UK art wise with London, Manchester and Liverpool. Are those other places suffering the same cuts?
    In 10 years time the people who are making these decisions will be looked upon as Thatcher still is after 30 years for what she did to Sheffield and it's community.

  95. Written by Paul Gray about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Once culture dies in the City, the heart of the City dies.

    I have always regarded Sheffield as one of the four best served Cities in the UK art wise with London, Manchester and Liverpool. Are those other places suffering the same cuts?
    In 10 years time the people who are making these decisions will be looked upon as Thatcher still is after 30 years for what she did to Sheffield and it's community.

  96. Written by Vicky Wright about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This news is a disaster for Sheffield, its people and the arts in general. Sheffield is a great place to live and work not least because of its vibrant cultural scene. What message does this send out to those in education looking to pursue a career in the arts in Sheffield? Leave and move to London as there is nothing for you here!

    Museums Sheffield has played an important role in educating and inspiring its visitors for many years. The Museums Sheffield team works tirelessly to ensure that the exhibitions and programmes appeal to young and old from all walks of life. Our city will be considerably disadvantaged due to this loss and I urge the Arts Council to re-evaluate Museums Sheffield's bid for Renaissance funding.

  97. Written by Andrew Brighton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It does all seem a bit unfortunate. I thought the Museums under MS's remit (especially Weston Park) WERE the more higher priority musuems for the Art Council. It's a shame the budgets are so tight. Maybe we could give them the RBS directors bonus now he has respectfully declined it?

  98. Written by George Credland about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Arts Council "Mission, Vision and Goals":
    http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/our-vision-for-the-arts-2011-21/mission-vision-goals-cont-goal-five/

    "Goal 5: Every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts"

    Anybody in doubt as to value of the work done by Museums Sheffield ought to visit Weston Park Museum. Every time I've visited its always been packed with young families due to the family friendly design of the Museum and the frequent hands on sessions they run.

    This even won national recognition in 2008 winning the Guardian Family Friendly Museums Award following £18 million refurb:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2008/may/01/heritage.museums

    The facilities are excellent and the staff always very helpful and enthusiastic.

    Yet somehow the Arts Council has failed to recognise the value of this work. I'm at a loss to understand this assessment which seems at odds to their claimed values and goals.



  99. Written by Caroline Pantling about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Having worked as part of the learning team from 2004 - 2011 I saw the team deliver an excellent and diverse service that supported learners from across Sheffield and further afield. During this time the family learning programme expanded from 4000 participants in facilitated activities to 30000. ACEs decision to not fund Museums Sheffield means that this level of activities will be reduced and 30000 plus families will no longer have the level of provision that they expect and deserve. This was a free provision which provides families with a low cost solution to weekend and school holiday entertainment every day outside of term time. Given the increasing restrictions on personal budgets and increasing train costs, I can’t see many of these families being able to make the trip to Leeds or Manchester to access similar cultural provision. Whilst Weston Park Museum on its own is a fantastic resource for families, many families return because of the changes to the displays and outstanding temporary exhibitions programme. The wide ranging activity programme enhances visitors engagement with the collections, increases their learning and enjoyment.

    The Government is currently undertaking the development of a new National Curriculum due to be launched in 2014. The emphasis on the new curriculum is to make a localised offer that draws on the resources of the schools region. Museums should be ideally placed to support teachers with these changes to teaching practice. South Yorkshire’s teachers and pupils will be left without the kind of support that will enable them to be able to make the best use of their local cultural resources.

    Not only will the basic core learning provision be affected but also the audience development work that has underpinned so many of the projects delivered by Museums Sheffield. This work has tackled many key areas such as healthy eating and exercise (working with Sheffield Let’s Change 4 Life), Positive Activities for Young People, Adult and Community Learning (ESOL, Basic Skills etc.) and providing opportunities for many people across the city to engage in cultural activities for the first time. The impact of having to return to relying on small pots of short term funding will have a huge impact on Museums Sheffield’s ability to undertake this kind of work. This will particularly affect the work with audiences who don’t normally access the opportunities that such high quality cultural venues can offer. The work undertaken to break down the traditional barriers to engagement will be very quickly undone as sustained contact is essential for this to be successful. Building relationships with new partners takes time and trust on both sides and short term funded projects with staff on temporary contracts makes this work twice as hard and means that projects don’t run as effectively or efficiently as they might. Museums Sheffield has an outstanding history of working with a wide variety of groups across the city undertaking projects which have had both national and international recognition. It is a tragedy for the city that this work will no longer take place.

  100. Written by Martin Hughes about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I agree with an earlier comment that there is a wider context to the cuts generally-not that that makes this one any more palatable. Sadly, more of the same with no end in sight until we vote in a different government.

  101. Written by Rachel Dodsworth about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I now live in Cumbria but still enjoy the galleries on my visits to Sheffield, as do my kids. It would be tragic to see the cultural heart of this very special city ruined by yet more disinvestment.

  102. Written by Derek Whiteley about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It's not only the arts that will suffer. My fear is that we will lose our unique Weather Station -one of the oldest in the UK - and a service to the people of Sheffield,to the Met Office, to the wider area, to the study of global warming for over 130 years. Who has not used data from Weston Park Weather Station?

  103. Written by Lee Avison about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I'd like to add my small voice to the growing protest against the funding decision by ACE. Museums Sheffield provide a truly exceptional service to the people of Sheffield, South Yorkshire and beyond. The proposed cuts are a tragedy for the many thousands of exhibition visitors and programme participants and must be an unbearable blow for the talented and dedicated team of Museum professionals who have grown the service in recent years. A very, very sad day for the City. I do hope that those responsible for making this decision will listen to the voices on this blog and elsewhere and find a way to reverse it.

  104. Written by Juliana Haynes about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I was highly disappointed and disgusted when I heard the Art COuncil's decision to overlook the North again (despite having a big pot of funding) and in doing so undoing the years of good work by the Sheffield Museums and Galleries to bring the city art and culture to pretty high standards (and free to public) and providing education to the young generation- abt the history, arts, science and future. Sheffield may not be the Centre of Finance and Commerce like London or Leeds but we are far from men who lives in trees! Sheffield was an industrial city which is now shifted to public/civil service and higher education sector (thanks to the govt, these sectors and the workers are shafted again). The people of Sheffield would like not to be shafted in all directions please. We are hard working people who appreciate the work done by the staff of the Museums and Galleries- the fine exhibitions, family events and a lovely cultural place to go to enjoy some art and culture. Do not underestimate and write off Sheffield's culture and museums just because we are not the shiny and "exciting" like London. We are under represented and wrongly overlooked. We like discovering local art talents too, you know! The council is terribly short sighted!

    For a body of council who freely admitted they know nothing about running a museum, they sure know how to piss people off by not doing their homework! People are high tech, knowledgeable consumers these days, we know what is going on!!We will not take this lying down nor allow you to devalue our museums and their wonderful staff. You have no idea how much work and time and passion have gone to making the museums what it is today in Sheffield. Shame on you.

  105. Written by Mr N West about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Mr Alan Davey

    Chief Executive

    Arts Council England



    Dear Mr Davey,

    It was with great sadness that I learnt recently of the decision by ACE not support the Sheffield Museums through the Renaissance Development Fund. Although I am by profession a scientist, I have always had a strong interest in the arts and when I moved to Sheffield from the London area with my young family some years ago, it was obvious that the museum facilities in the city were in a parlous state. Since that time through the generosity of ACE and other funders there has been a transformation in what is on offer especially for children. Sheffield is now justifiably proud of the Millennium Galleries and Weston Park Museum in particular.



    My understanding is that the loss of ACE funding will drastically impact the finances of our museums for the foreseeable future and inevitably reduce the service they can offer to one of the most disadvantaged cities in England. I can understand the need for cuts across the board in ACE funding but what I cannot understand is the gross discrepancy in total funding between Leeds and Sheffield, for example. Why should Leeds be funded a factor of 5 times per head more than Sheffield? If this figure is incorrect, I would like to know what the true figure is.



    I hesitate to bring to your attention the mission of the Arts Council ‘Great Art for Everyone’. Please don’t make it everyone except the citizens of Sheffield. I would urge you to come and visit the museums if you haven’t done so recently. It’s only 2 hours on the train from St Pancras!



    Yours sincerely,

    Norman West

  106. Written by Professor Pauline Harrison about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Dear Mr Davey
    I am appalled to learn that Arts Council England has decided to discontinue its support for Museums Sheffield. This is a devastating blow to the people of Sheffield who have appreciated all the good work done by Museums Sheffield in developing museums and galleries, exhibitions and learning provision for schools and families. All this will now inevitably be cut and staff made redundant.
    ACE funding per head of population for Sheffield is already inequitably low per head of population compared to other cities in the region. Why should Sheffield citizens be deprived of art and culture in this way?
    I urgently request that the decision to cut off Museums Sheffield already meagre funding be reconsidered.
    Yours sincerely
    Emeritus Professor Pauline Harrison, CBE

  107. Written by James Fitzmaurice about 2 years, 8 months ago

    We Americans are regular visitors to Museums Sheffield, too. The cuts are simply not a good idea. Jim Fitzmaurice, Emeritus Professor of English, Northern Arizona University

  108. Written by Vivien Falshaw about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Alan Davey
    C.E.O. A.C.E

    Dear Mr. Davey
    A very serious situation has arisen now in Sheffield as a result of the recent allocation of funds to Arts institutuions.
    There is a wide discrepancy, Sheffield £4.62 per head fro 2012/2013
    Nottingham £13.06 """"""""""""""""""""""
    Leeds £ 20.32 """"""""""""""""""""""

    This will lead to drastic cutbacks in the valuable educational work that has been carried out by our galleries.

    Why is there such a glaring difference?
    Yours sincerely,
    Vivien Falshaw
    Friend of Millenium Galleries

  109. Written by Anne Hill about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Message for Alan Davey

    I am emailing to express my deep disappointment at your decision not to provide funding to Museums Sheffield. The Millenium Gallery. Graves Gallery and Weston Park Museum provide an excellent resource for the people of Sheffield and visitors to the city. If we are unable to invest in them in the future this is bound to have an impact on both the economic recovery of the city and the quality of life for the people of the city.

    Without continued investment we will not be able to compete for opportunities like the European City of Culture as we did last year.

    This is a very disappointing decision and i would ask you to reconsider your thinking. Surely one option would be to fund more cities by sharing out the money available.(The comparative figures for funding per head for Leeds and Nottingham are quite unbelievable in their disparity) If there is anything we could do to improve our chances of funding I would be happy to help in any way possible.

    Anne Hill

  110. Written by Gareth James about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Even the computer game 'The Sims' recognises the value of supporting institutions such as these - the quality of life of the virtual population goes up when they are invested in, and down when they are not - quite simple really.

  111. Written by Dr Myfanwy Lloyd Jones about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Dear Mr Davey

    I am hugely disappointed at ACE's decision not to support Museums Sheffield's bid for funding.

    The Sheffield Museums provide a vital contribution to the cultural life of the city and its hinterland. I grew up in Chesterfield, where my parents moved in 1960, when I was eight, and I loved visiting the Graves art gallery then. I moved to Sheffield in 1980, and ever since then I have visited the museums and galleries frequently. During that period, the building of the Millennium Gallery was a cultural highlight, and the big exhibitions it has housed have been particularly wonderful and spiritually enriching.

    I will be retiring later this year, and one of the things I had been looking forward to doing in my retirement was spending more time in the Sheffield Museums and Galleries, both appreciating the collections and exhibitions in greater depth than was possible while I was working full time, and also attending some of the lectures, workshops and other events. I very much hope that it will still be possible for me to benefit from these activities, but fear that they will not be there, or will be very substantially reduced, because of the funding cuts.

    I also feel that it is very important that families, young people, and those on limited incomes have free access to the best visual arts so that their lives may be enriched in that way. Many of the inhabitants of Sheffield and the surrounding areas are disadvantaged financially, and it would be unfortunate in the extreme if they were also to become more disadvantaged culturally.

    I hope, therefore, that ACE will be able to rethink its decision not to support Museums Sheffield.

    Yours sincerely

    Myfanwy Lloyd Jones

    --
    Dr Myfanwy Lloyd Jones
    Senior Research Fellow

  112. Written by Angelos Hadjikoumis about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Unfortunately bureaucrats can not understand the positive ramifications the museum activities have for the city. They are so short-sighted that for them it is just a number that needs to be cut down. Even in their narrow numeric world, they have the chance to realise that funding local museums is also an investment that 'makes money' as well but they can not (or do not want). By contributing to a healthy and satisfied young (and more senior) population, the local museum essentially 'saves money' from other sectors such as health, reduces crime and promotes active citizens. Of course such beneficial effects are not direct and the government fails (or pretends to fail) to see them. The effects of this and of other similar decisions will be obvious in a few years but then it will take much more tax-derived funds to fight crime and other problems (health-related, social and psychological). Maybe they even have the solutions to those problems (e.g. an increasing number of private jails as in the US, where building and running new jails is one of the fastest growing business...where tax-payer money go to private companies that essentially have an interest to lock people up for as many years as possible).

  113. Written by Jonathan Briggs / Director, Field / Senior Associate Lecturer, Leeds Met about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Speaking as someone who grew up in Sheffield and now has a young family. It's a great shame that our children will miss out on all of the great buildings and exhibitions we have been fortunate enough to experience over the recent past.

    The reduced service within the Museums and Art Galleries in Sheffield will be a real blow. Considering the the small nature of the organisation it offers an incredible variety of activities across the city. I personally would like my Children to grow up in a thriving city with arts and culture at it's heart. Unfortunately this will become marginalised with lack of funding.

    It's very disappointing that the Arts council doesn't see Sheffield the way it sees other big cities. It would be a great shame to lose the amassed wealth of local knowledge and academic excellence that the Museums service offers.

    Fingers crossed for the future!

  114. Written by Rosie Eagleton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Letter to ACE and MP:

    I am writing in regards to recent decisions made by the Arts Council England in their allocation of funding to Museums and Galleries around the country. As you know, Sheffield has not been successful in their bid for funding which not only marks a devastating blow for the city but also leaves central England (East Midlands, South and East Yorkshire) as a cultural wasteland for the next 3 years, if not longer.

    It is a travesty and a shame that Sheffield is being treated so unfairly by the Arts Council. Sheffield, as I hope you are already aware, is a city bursting with creativity, vibrancy, artistry and energy. To lose out on ACE funding is to remove any hope for this creativity to be realised in the future, let alone be perpetuated by future generations. The removal of funding for Millennium Gallery and the Graves Art Gallery will be a tragic loss for the city and the region. Art plays such an important role in our society and Sheffield has thrived on the successes of Museums Sheffield, both culturally and economically. Large scale, prominent exhibitions such as Vivienne Westwood, Treasures from the V&A, Restless Times and John Martyn’s Painting the Apocalypse have brought visitors in droves to the galleries and into Sheffield itself.

    As important as Sheffield’s creative potential, the city risks losing a critical resource – the history, education, outreach and family provision offered by the multi-award winning Weston Park Museum. The museum’s dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable front of house staff promotes the wealth of history this great city has to offer to visitors from around the world, alongside educating and nurturing knowledge within the city’s younger generation. The schools and education programme offered by the museum is second to none. The family programme offered by the museum is second to none. The community outreach programmes offered by the museum are second to none. The science and research carried out by a dedicated team of curators is second to none and has offered original research into the biodiversity of the city and surrounding area, not to mention the hours of cataloguing, researching and presenting objects and artefacts from within the collections. The museum offers respite to visitors and patients of the Children’s Hospital, Hallamshire Hospital and Weston Park Cancer unit. The museum offers the city of Sheffield in all of its glory to new students, tourists and business men and women from around the world.

    To cut funding to this exceptional service is to cut the heart out of Sheffield. Please review the decisions made by ACE and do something to right this terrible wrong.

  115. Written by Alistair about 2 years, 8 months ago

    A quote from one of our customers for weather data after being warned that the service we provide is seriously at risk because of the forthcoming redundancies...

    "The data you provide us supports many research projects within the weather industry, students and companies alike all benefit from this so would be a great shame if this came to an end."

  116. Written by Kate Reveley about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I read a news story this morning about the £37 million that is being made available through the Arts Council to develop new cultural initiatives in cities and towns which are lacking (see links below).

    http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/35072/arts-council-england-launches-37

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts 16790785?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    While I would never want to deny other cities and towns their own cultural projects, it seems illogical that the Arts Council would use money to shoe horn new ventures whilst allowing the ones that those have worked so hard to build over the years and which have become part of our city’s cultural heritage, to just simply wither and die. There's some sort of blazing contradiction there. If it weren’t for the amount of people Museums Sheffield have educated and inspired through what they’ve achieved, than it would really be like the Arts Council putting all previous funding for Sheffield in a bag and burning it!

    Oh and how do you go about electing a representative or two for South Yorkshire onto the ACE Yorkshire board?

    Will be very intrigued to hear a more detailed account of the reasons for denying Sheffield, fourth largest city in the country. Cuts cause funding restrictions yes, but surely a more even split of funds could have been applied rather than a simple all or nothing approach?!

    Hopefully Sheffield's united voice of disagreement with this decision will be loud enough to be heard.

  117. Written by Simon Landau about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Letter to ACE, Paul Blomfield (my local MP) and Dan Jarvis (Shadow Arts Minister)


    Dear Mr. Davey

    Yorkshire is about to have a 'we are all in it together' Stephen Hester moment courtesy of the Arts Council England. Last week ACE announced its Renaissance Funding settlement for museums over the next three years. Sheffield Museums (all of them) have been cut from the programme - funding instead has gone to Leeds and York. So South Yorkshire and East Midlands have no national support as yet - you could call it the squeezed middle.

    This has focusedour minds on how Leeds gets five times more arts funding than Sheffield despite having roughly equal support from their respective councils. Why ?

    ACE ploughs £10m into Opera North in Leeds. The bankers' art form was established in Leeds (largely at the behest of ACE and with a zero tradition of opera in the city) at a time when Leeds was trying to establish itself as a financial services centre. Now you can go to Leeds and see the collapse in property values as retail, commercial and residential block on block lie empty. Hamburg it ain't.

    In Sheffield we go to the excellent (and friendly) nearby Buxton festival if we want opera. Meanwhile we support the largest number of practising visual artists in the city, brilliant chamber musicians and thriving theatres. The only bankers we put up with (reluctantly) are Nick Clegg's family. What is more important, saving 45 museum curator jobs or getting the wealthy to stump up for their expensive pastimes ? I would really appreciate an answer to this question as both a founder member of Leeds Young Musicians in the 60s and a current resident of Sheffield.

    It appears that the next opportunity for a funding application will not be until Autumn 2012 - this decision needs an urgent reassessment so I urge you and council members (including your Chair) to visit the City and receive representations from residents and museum employees.

    Yours Sincerely

    Simon Landau

  118. Written by Deborah Egan about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Extract from letter to Alan Davey, CEO of ACE:

    As Sheffield City Region Local Economic Partnership board member, with responsibility for Creative and Digital Industries plus Leisure and Tourism, I would like to add my voice in deep disappointment at this outcome on behalf of the businesses and people of the region. The SCR LEP cites the Creative and Digital Industries as a key regional driver with currently over 7.2% of the Sheffield City Region workforce employed in its cultural sector:

    “The cultural sector is a critical ingredient in place-making for the city and as an agent to spur executive and company relocation. The economic importance of tourism as a £115bn industry in the UK was spelt out recently by the Prime Minister as being a ‘fundamental’ contribution in rebuilding our struggling economy. Currently, within Sheffield alone, the visitor economy, drawn from theatre production, galleries, festivals and conferences , contributes £588m p.a.to our economy “ (Sheffield City Region LEP proposal to Government - September 2010)

    It is disappointing not to see this commitment echoed in the response by ACE. As it stands the funding rejection will have the following direct effects;

    * the loss of 45 jobs with almost immediate effect in the cultural sector,
    * the reduction of the quality of the cultural offer in the city - something which as economists we view as critical for profiling the region and making it an attractive place to invest and do business ,
    * the loss of education and outreach provision for young people
    * the damage to the tourist economy (valued at £588m in 2010)
    * the damage to the partnerships carefully engendered by MS with the Tate Gallery, the V&A and others, which have been responsible for creating nationally significant exhibitions– such as John Martin: Painting the Apocalypse in 2011.

    The Arts Councils modus operandi appears to be that it will make larger payments to fewer organisations, rather than either dispensing resources equally or in support of strategic change. I would urge ACE to address two things - why Sheffield is so comparatively underfunded ? And If ACE can reconsider financial intervention either from its Transition Fund or by bringing forward the date of engagement for its Strategic Fund to Museums Sheffield, because if the dates for the latter are left till autumn 2012 there will be no resources left with which to make an application.

    Deborah Egan

  119. Written by Martin Sanger about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am extremely sad to hear that Sheffield Museum is having its funding cut and facing possible closure. I would appeal to the Arts Council to re-consider their decision. This will have a serve knock on affect throughout Sheffield and the rest of the UK. Apart from the loss of this national heritage museum and jobs at this extremely difficult time, the loss will cascade throughout other industries as the museum services us with weather data from their weather station with which we provide research on behalf of other companies and students a like.
     
    The scientific value of this data that goes back over a hundred years is invaluable.
     
    Please support this museum and staff in their endeavours to save it.

  120. Written by Karen H about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am absolutely disgusted by the decision of the Arts council not to fund the bid from Sheffield.We must all fight against this awful decision.

    Why should York and Leeds, which are far better placed financially and have a more thriving tourist economy than Sheffield benefit when we don't? It is bad enough that these 2 cities have received at least 4 times more funding than Sheffield, but to leave us out of the funding completely is absolutely appalling.

    Further, it is very noticeable that London and university cities in the south have been favoured.

    Myself and family have written to local M.P.'s and the Arts Council at both regional and national level.They must account for their actions and attempt to put this right, as the consequences do not bear thinking about. I urge others to do the same.

  121. Written by Tony Richards about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This decision by ACE will be detrimental not only to the museums and art galleries of Sheffield. It will also detract from the considerable investment in the wider cultural facilities and public spaces that we have seen over recent years. Sheffield, especially the city centre, will be a much less attractive place to work, live and visit. Our city deserves better.

  122. Written by Trisha Westwood about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am extremely dismayed to hear of the decision to cut funding in Sheffield to this extent. Sheffield is a city which has turned around in recent years and the museums, galleries and theatres are fundamental to the cultural future of our city.

    I am at a loss to understand why the fourth largest city in England is subjected to such large cuts. The people of this area support these facilities and I believe that the Arts Council are being extremely unfair in cutting funding to an areas which has already suffered so much in the loss of the steel and mining industries during my lifetime.

    The people of South Yorkshire deserve more support, and I truly hope that this decision can be reconsidered and reversed.

  123. Written by Pamela Page about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am a Friend of Sheffield Museums, I graduated from Sheffield Medical School in 1968, lived and worked here until 1977 and returned when I retired 10 years ago. I admire the way the museums and art galleries have improved in this latter period.

    There is so much for children and adults of all ages, activities, events, exhibitions, all highly imaginative, professionally presented, relevant to the people of the city, of the highest standard and extremely well attended. It is as if the people who develop services are being penalised for their success. It would be a tragedy for the whole community if they could not be maintained.

    The council members will be well placed to know how important the Arts are for the health of individuals and communities. I cannot believe the people who plan these events do so much on so little funding per head. Services will have to be pruned at least, it will be a tragic waste of investment so far if they deteriorate as a result of the loss of anticipated funding while others are favoured. I don’t understand why the funding could not have been more equitably shared.

    I hope the decision can be reviewed.

    Pam Page

  124. Written by Merren and Angus Watson about 2 years, 8 months ago

    To Alan Davey
    Chief Executive at Art Council England .

    Dear Mr Davey

    We are shocked to learn that ACE is not supporting Museums Sheffield’s bid for funding.

    We live 25 miles from Sheffield but are attracted into the city by the excellent art exhibitions and museum services offered in Sheffield as I am certain are many other people. In times of recession these provisions are even more vital to the welfare of people – they are open to all levels of society and all ages. We have been happy to help funding by joining the Friends and it is a joy to go to exhibitions of high quality and see the variety and enthusiasm of all age groups there. We are also impressed by the consideration of Museum Sheffield for minority communities interests which help to bind the community as a whole together.

    Sheffield is already underfunded compared with cities whose populations are less than Sheffield and I hope you will do your best to remedy this gross injustice .

    Yours sincerely, Merren and Angus Watson

  125. Written by Frank Abel about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Dear Alan Davey

    I have been a resident of Sheffield for nearly 30 years and I saw the city go through the trauma of the 80s and 90s with the contractions in steel and coalmining. I have also been immensely proud to see it bounce into the new millennium with a new determination and self-confidence. This has been achieved in no small part by its investment in the public realm, which has transformed the city centre and doubtless helped to encourage new businesses to locate here and to attract new investment.

    Sheffield's investment in the arts, always strong, was strengthened even more by the construction of the Millennium Gallery and the refurbishment of Weston Park Museum. Your rejection of our very strong bid has come as a crushing blow and is surely not at all deserved. You have put at risk a tremendous achievement which includes an enormous rise in visitor numbers at our museums and galleries. Staff redundancies, reductions in exhibition programmes and scaled down learning provision for schools, families and adults are all now inevitable.

    I don't wish Sheffield to gain at the expense of other cities, but where are the arguments in favour of the very large disparities in funding per head between Leeds and Nottingham on one hand and Sheffield on the other? Why should Leeds be funded at nearly 5 times the rate of Sheffield and Nottingham 3 times the rate?

    Please consider the human and social costs of your decision as well as the blow to Sheffield's pride and self-esteem.

    Frank Abel.

  126. Written by N Cullen about 2 years, 8 months ago

    There's concern that the council's funding is dependent on Art Council's too. They're deciding today!

    Let's urge them to think for themselves and not cut their funding too on basis of a national body's decision.

    At the very least they could link their contributions to the amount donated by visitors (i.e. us local folk who know it best)

  127. Written by Dave T about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I am very dismayed and yes angry at ACE's decision to cut funding to the cities cultural organisations: Sheffield is one of the largest cities in the UK, is already underfunded in this area and yet to suffer cuts on this scale is unforgiveable.

    Museums and Galleries (like libraries) can rightly be described as the ‘People’s Universities’, I am certain as a working class person who left school with few qualifications, that going to such places sparked vibrant interests in me that may otherwise have lay dormant and opened up a 'world of wonder' That helped me along the path to a very good degree but also engendered a lifelong interest in the arts which has informed my whole perspective on life. I am certain other people from my background feel the same way.For low income families the outcome of these cuts will mean a very diminished life and the 'spark' maybe going out...

    Now, that poor/mature students will be put off going to University because of costs, these 'worlds of wonder' will be needed more than ever, but in Sheffield they may not have that opportunity

    Shame on you ACE…

  128. Written by valerie Garvey about 2 years, 8 months ago

    As a cultural mentor working in South Yorkshire I know what a big part of Sheffield culture the museum is. Its always been a super place to take children as long as I can remember, a real treasure trove of fascinating artifacts etc and a fantastic place for adults too, the grounds alone are stunning I many a parent who has been thankful for them when they have a child in the hospital opposite . Sheffield is a very multi-cultural city, also a great tourist destination and the museum is a place where people from other cultures visiting Sheffield or moving here can find out all about our beautiful city and beyond. It is just unbelievable that museum is not getting the funding it deserves. What is the world coming to ? The good people of Sheffield must get together on do something to stop this injustice before its too late. This is our Sheffield and our museum . This needs to be put on billboards all around our city and in newspapers we must spread the word,but i realize there wont be the money to do this so please tell everyone you know about this terrible situation .

  129. Written by valerie Garvey about 2 years, 8 months ago

    As a cultural mentor working in South Yorkshire I know what a big part of Sheffield culture the museum is. Its always been a super place to take children as long as I can remember, a real treasure trove of fascinating artifacts etc and a fantastic place for adults too, the grounds alone are stunning I many a parent who has been thankful for them when they have a child in the hospital opposite . Sheffield is a very multi-cultural city, also a great tourist destination and the museum is a place where people from other cultures visiting Sheffield or moving here can find out all about our beautiful city and beyond. It is just unbelievable that museum is not getting the funding it deserves. What is the world coming to ? The good people of Sheffield must get together on do something to stop this injustice before its too late. This is our Sheffield and our museum . This needs to be put on billboards all around our city and in newspapers we must spread the word,but i realize there wont be the money to do this so please tell everyone you know about this terrible situation .

  130. Written by Kieran McKeown about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I have just returned from a Y2 school trip to the galleries which was a great day out for the 6+7 year olds of St Patrick's Primary School. We were informed of the cuts and I would just like to point out what a huge shame it would be for kids to be missing out on such cultural education. Mary our tour and teacher was fantastic and the fact that she will not be able to carry on these educational, engaging days is a great shame.

  131. Written by colleen penny about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I have lived in the city for the last 35 years and have seen its cultural fortunes rise and fall and rise again. This news is terrible. We will again become a cultural backwater and our museums and galleries will suffer irrevocably. Those working for the arts in this city have striven to put Sheffield on the cultural map and just when we have achieved some respect for this
    the rug is to be pulled from under our feet.We do not deserve this treatment by the Arts Council.

  132. Written by Serious Black about 2 years, 8 months ago

    We now need a total review on how the Arts Council functions. 16 winners 13 losers - ACE has been reduced to an X-Factor mentality. I bet all 29 applicants had their merits. Why wasn't the cake cut into 29 slices?

  133. Written by Karen H about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Have just sent a further e-mail to Alan Davey as follows,
    Dear Mr Davey,

    We will await the response from your Museums team about our concerns.

    However, we feel we must comment upon the official statement 'Our Renaissance major partner funding decision for Museums Sheffield', which was released yesterday.

    The points we wish to make are:

    1. Reasons for successful and unsuccessful bids ought to be in the public domain, for openness and transparancy.

    2. ACE states that 'we wanted to invest that money as evenly as we could across England, so that the whole museums sector, and audiences across the country would benefit.' So please can you explain why this did not happen?

    3. Why do cities like Leeds and York receive far more funding per head than Sheffield? This was a great opportunity to address inequalities in historical funding.

    4. Without the service in Sheffield, Englands 4th largest city, will have no significant art and culture for its residents and visitors.

    5. ACE has stated 'we need inspiration, escape and enjoyment that great art and culture give us.' Apparantly not in Sheffield though.

    6. According to the ACE website the actual amounts to be given to each of the successful applicants has not been confirmed. There is still the opportunity, therefore, to amend decisions and awards.

    7. It appears that the Sheffield bid is undermined by the lack of financial stability, so why wasn't the opportunity taken to fund Sheffield's bid and go a long way to providing this stability? Museums Sheffield is being penalised for its track record of making the best of limited funding.

    8. Are any of your statistics going to be made public detailing spending per head on cities across the country regarding the current bids, and awards that have been previously made?

    We look forward to an early response from you about the above.

    Karen & Chris Hockney

    Sheffield residents

  134. Written by Dave Stringfellow about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Once again this great city is being battered by people/councils (of all political parties) who have no interest in our city's heritage or culture. You can bet your bottom dollar that if we were still the centre of the steel world, all manner of councillors, politicians and culture boards would be holding their hands out for their slice of the pie. I am sick and tired of these people spouting on about a fair society when the truth of the matter is that these cuts do not even affect the people who are making these decisions - Fairer society? there are 650 MPs all claiming allowances, paying themselves with our taxes and living non working class lives, cut their pay and help save jobs, heritage and culture.

  135. Written by Nicola Speake about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I, like everyone else who has heard this news, am truly disappointed in the Arts Councils decision. I and my young daughter are regular visitors to Weston Park Museum and i feel saddened that this fantastic educational resource provided by such an enthusiastic and dedicated team, may not be so readily available in future years due to lack of funding. Until recent years Sheffield has culturally stood in the shadows of its neighbours, such as Leeds and Nottingham, but over the last few years our city has proven its value and now attracts visitors from afar as well as within the city. These cuts will only take us back to those times. I urge the ACE to re-consider their decision and to think about what damage these cuts will make to our city.

  136. Written by amy.brighton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Dear Mr Davey

    I am a resident of Sheffield and a long term supporter of the arts and museums service. In the 25 yrs I have lived here, Sheffield has worked hard to recover from a depression resulting from the loss of the steel industry to become a vibrant city. It still has a way to go but the improvements generally have been fantastic and the Museums service has played a major part in the transformation. Indeed I believe you have assessed their work, particularly with children and young people in Sheffield and throughout South Yorkshire, to be 'outstanding'.

    I was therefore frankly horrified and at a loss to understand why the service has been so poorly funded by yourselves for 2012/2013. I am advised by the service that this is on the basis of 'strategic geographic dsitribution of funding'. I do not understand what this means particularly when you look at the spend per head of population compared with other cities:

    e.g. Spend per head of population:

    Birmingham - 16.78
    Bristol - 9.27
    Leeds - 20.32
    Liverpool - 18.12
    Manchester - 17.75
    Newcastle - 18.45
    Nottingham - 13.06
    Sheffield - 4.62!!!
    York - 5.83

    In addition this cut comes at a time when Sheffield is struggling to maintain its developmental momentum in a time of recession. Sheffield has had to cope with the loss of its industrial base and therefore a major source of employment. The development of the city centre and in particular the arts and museums has given people something to be proud of and it has been encouraging to see the interest shown by the younger generation. It will be heart breaking to see this stall for lack off funding and I am sure that the figures above will lead people to believe that Sheffield has once again been passed over as a major city in the North of England.

    If there really is any coherent reason for the disparity of distribution of funding I would like to hear it.

    Regards

    Elizabeth Jones (Mrs)

  137. Written by Chris Watson about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I was extremely saddened and dismayed by this dreadful decision from Arts Council England not to grant funding to Museums Sheffield.

    A strong cultural heart and identity is vital to the current and future life of Sheffield. I was born and brought up in the city and my formative years of investigation and enquiry during the 1970's were built on experiences and educational activities at the galleries, events and films within Sheffield Museums. Through this I discovered not only local artists but the wider world and this played a major part in my own professional development for which I am very grateful. Art and careful artistic practice not only informs and entertains but is vital to our continued general well being, a sense of cultural identity. Further, art is a source of creative and commercial inspiration not only to us all here and now but to future generations in Sheffield and the Arts Council current neglect of my city will have serious and depressing consequences and I urge them to reconsider.

    Chris Watson

  138. Written by N Cullen about 2 years, 8 months ago


    Dear ACE,

    Asking the young families of Sheffield to travel to Leeds or Manchester is clearly not practical or efficient.

    We're puzzled that there aren't environmental obligations against this kind of centralisation, too.

    Please reconsider. Happily, Sheffield Council have stood by their £2m grant which shows they don't agree with your evaluation.

    Kind regards
    Local Mum & Dad of two pre-schoolers

  139. Written by N Cullen about 2 years, 8 months ago


    Dear ACE,

    Asking the young families of Sheffield to travel to Leeds or Manchester is clearly not practical or efficient.

    We're puzzled that there aren't environmental obligations against this kind of centralisation, too.

    Please reconsider. Happily, Sheffield Council have stood by their £2m grant which shows they don't agree with your evaluation.

    Kind regards
    Local Mum & Dad of two pre-schoolers

  140. Written by Danielle Stone about 2 years, 8 months ago

    One can't help feeling that there is a political bias against Sheffield being demonstrated here. Sheffield is a vibrant creative city that has emerged phoenix like from the desolation of the Thatcher years. It attracts people to the heart of the city through the arts. It teaches our young about hope and futures through the arts. It gives us lessons in history through the arts.
    Sheffield people are fighters and will fight for the right to have the arts central to city life.

  141. Written by Andrew Walker about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Dear ACE

    I write to you shocked and outraged by Arts Council England's decision on the funding of Sheffield Museums & Galleries.

    "In the current fiscal squeeze, it is perhaps no surprise that people
    sometimes question the role of public funding in culture, seeing it as
    an ‘add-on’ or ‘nice to have’ in straightened times. I would fiercely
    argue the counter: that the arts and culture are absolutely central to
    the life of the nation, and that every individual should have the right
    to experience their richness as part of their life experience, personal
    development and wellbeing." (Dame Liz Forgan, Chair, Arts Council England)

    I couldn't agree more with the comments of the Arts Council Chairperson. Galleries & Museums help feed the imagination of young people, invigorate the masses and inspire artistic endeavour. They are also a window onto the world otherwise denied to those who are less privileged in society. I feel that the decision to overlook Sheffield Museums & Galleries is a huge mistake and it leaves our region grossly under-represented. South Yorkshire is home to over 1.3 million people who will now have to travel if they wish to view new & exiting exhibitions. My fear is that the numerous school excursions and parents who would normally take children along to Sheffield's excellent facilities will simply not be able to afford the expense of journeying further. And why should they?!! Sheffield is one of the UK's biggest and most populous cities and should not be abandoned as it has been. Unlike some of the locations which have successfully been granted funding, Sheffield is not the kind of place that has many large private collections and so is in even greater need of the Arts Councils assistance. Where else will people go?

    Weston Park Museum is interactive and welcoming and engages children's imaginations. Graves Gallery has important paintings and artefacts documenting the local history. Millennium Gallery is an living, innovative space that lures people in as they meander through town with hugely impressive exhibitions by exciting artists. All of these spaces now face a future of decline and the eventual disinterest that permanent exhibitions garner. Not to mention the fact that 45 people will be losing their jobs!

    I urge the Arts Council to consider the upcoming appeal from Sheffield Museum & Galleries Trust very strongly. I appreciate that times are tough and that savings had to be made but why could the money not be spread more thinly? By continuing on this current path, the Arts Council are denying the diverse and brilliant people of this proud region the cultural society they richly need and deserve.

    Yours Sincerely

    Andrew Walker - Sheffield S2

  142. Written by Brenda Rumsey about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I urge the Arts Council to reconsider Sheffield's Museums appeal for funding.In these times of squeezed family budgets.it is so sad the people of Sheffield cannot access the same cultural experiences as some of the more fortunate parts of the country. Why I ask, should the children of Sheffield suffer and be deprived of the same cultural input? The Victorians understood the need for culture in it's broadest sense, for the enrichment of it's industrial cities. The Sheffield museums have done so much towards these ends,it would be a tragic to see all this good work end.

  143. Written by Z Rasheed about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This is very sad and I believe will leave our cultural industries - so vital, appreciated and high profile in Sheffield and nationally - reeling. The education and cultural experiences available for families, students, schools and individuals are superb because of staffing, expertise, time and resources. Cut this and you lose the excellence. We will have less, and it will be worse, the huge strides in inclusive cultural engagement over the last few years will be made redundant. Improvements only add value if they are sustained and nourished. The exhibitions, workshops and opportunities provided at Sheffield Galleries and Museums should be celebrated by the ACE not undermined - this decision is not justifiable.I hope Mr Clegg champions these issues. Z Sheffield parent and teacher

  144. Written by Rob Harris about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I think that this is terrible, Sheffield has always been a hub for the arts and music in South Yorkshire and the loss of this funding will seriously damage the city.
    I offer my full support to the cause and hope that the Arts Council will see sense and realise that cuts like these can be extraordinarily damaging and can effectively cripple the artist community in a city.

  145. Written by Rosie Taylor about 2 years, 8 months ago

    So sorry to hear this horrible news. I'm incredibly disappointed on my own account and also really feel for all of you who work there - what an undeserved kick in the teeth. I've contacted everyone you suggest - best of luck with your campaign.

  146. Written by Chris Jackson about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I've sent an e mail to Meg Munn who is our MP in my part of the city to ask for her support. I wish the campaign every success in its efforts.

  147. Written by John Hamilton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    The failure of the Art's Council to recognise the key role of Sheffield Museums and Galleries,at the centre of the cultural life of the people and of South Yorkshire and beyond,defies reason.It is a very unusual strategy that leaves such a massif gap in support across this part of the North and the East Midlands.
    The role of culture in raising the aspirations and realising the potential of young people and it's contribution to the lives of all,has been recognised fully and promoted in recent years.
    The lack of support for the activities of Sheffield is the more distressing when it effects so severely an organisation which has been at the forefront of connecting regional audiences to otherwise inaccessible national collections.In recent years it's efforts in the presentation of exhibitions has put it in the top league.
    We are now in a position where years of achievement will be lost and it could be decades before we see it's likes again.

  148. Written by Michael Buckingham about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I have also sent an email to the Arts Council to emphasise my utter dismay at Sheffield losing out on this crucial funding. I am sick of my city being used as a punch bag by this government and other London/Leeds based organisations to make their cuts. I am under no illusion that cuts need to be made but here in Sheffield/South Yorkshire we always seem to be the first to take the hit both Nationally and Regionally.
    I must admit I am not really an arty person but I do think that art plays a big part in society and I am proud of the museums we have in Sheffield and surrounding areas.

    I have also asked the Arts Council why the funding that has been given to Leeds and York could not have been split 3 ways to include Sheffield but I am sure there will be some sort of poor excuse for this already made.

    I wish MuseumsSheffield all the very best and hope that all of us together can hopefully make a difference to this poor unthoughtout decision.

  149. Written by Karen H about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Here is my latest e-mail to the regional director of ACE:
    Dear Mr Macpherson,

    Yes I have received a reply from a Customer Service Adviser, but I remain far from satisfied by the way Sheffield has been cruelly and inexplicably left out of the bids from ACE.

    The excuses that have been given to us are very flimsy and go nowhere near explaining the recent decisions. Also, the response is contradictory i.e. 'We want them (Museums Sheffield) to continue to do their valuable work because, in tough economic times, we need the inspiration, escape and enjoyment that great art and culture gives us more than ever.' Please can you explain to me how people from Sheffield and nearby smaller local authorities are going to be able to do this when Museums Sheffield has had their funding drastically cut meaning staff redundancies are now on the cards, and with no money in the pot for national exhibitions to be brought here? People just do not have the money to travel further to cities like Leeds and London and more to the point, why should they have to?

    Sheffield is demanding to know who is on the committee who made the decisions and which areas they represent. We have heard that there were 3 people from Leeds and 1 from North Yorkshire. Is this correct? We are interested to see exactly who was representing Sheffield and South Yorkshire?

    If ACE do not have anything to hide then they should welcome releasing relevant information to people from Sheffield and other unsuccessful cities. Without openness and transparency the whole thing stinks, with some cities clearly being favoured over others with no adequate explanation given.

    Please can you answer my further questions, rather than pass it onto another Customer Services Adviser who will, no doubt, be giving the same stock answer to Sheffield residents like me?

    Thank you.

    Karen HocKney

    Proud Sheffield resident

  150. Written by amy.brighton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Dear Mr Davey

    We are writing to ask you to reconsider your decision not to grant funding to Museums Sheffield.

    Sheffield has made huge progress in the past 15 years. In the mid 1990s, the city was without doubt struggling. Since then, so much has improved, including socially and culturally. The renaissance of our galleries and museums has made a very important contribution to this progress.

    We recognise that all public bodies are having to make some of the most difficult decisions they have ever faced as a result of the loss of funding. We are, however, really concerned that your decision will lead to a very serious decline in the services the museums and galleries provide and place at risk the terrific achievements of the past decade.

    It would also appear unfair that Sheffield should receive such a small share of ACE funding compared to that received by other major cities. Indeed, only a relatively small redistribution of the funding you have allocated would be needed to afford greater protection to Sheffield’s galleries and museums.

    We understand that Museums Sheffield will be appealing your decision. We do hope that this will lead to at least some additional funding being granted, which we are sure will be put to the very best use.

    Thank you.

  151. Written by Lisa Heller about 2 years, 8 months ago

    The refusal of funding to Sheffield's Museums and galleries and the local authority's 12% cut in funding is tragic. I hope that the Arts Council and the Local Authority will consider urgently a review of their decisions. Sheffield is a city with a rich past and varied heritage and a fragile centre. All of the galleries and museums play a vital role in the cultural life of its people. They are not incidental to the city centre, I believe they are what the city is about. We can go to Meadowhall to shop, and thousands of us do, but thousands turned up at the City Museum to witness the start of Chinese New Year three weekends ago, and this showed that the museum is central to our life in the city and our interest in each other as well as our history.
    I attend a regular art class at the Millenium Gallery. Every time I go to the gallery, I see hundreds of people, schoolchildren, students and adults using the gallery to inform themselves, socialise, gain insights into our own and other cultures and learn together.I fully support the efforts to encourage the Atrs Council and Local Authority to reconsider their decisions.

  152. Written by Krys Craik about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Have just visited the excellent Family in British Art exhibition, well attended by an appreciative audience of all ages. It seems that supporting the bringing of approachable first-class art to people of Sheffield is once again being crushed by the elites in favour of London, South East and other more fashionable cities. Wake up Sheffield and fight for your heritage!

  153. Written by Tracy about 2 years, 8 months ago

    From where will we get our inspiration? What will help us aspire to be better than we are? Culture is not an unimportant add-on to life, it is essential to it. I fully support MuseumsSheffield and thank them for their part in the cultural life of the City thus far.

  154. Written by Tony Richards about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I recently visited the Family in British Art exhibition at the Millennium Gallery and was pleased to see how popular it was proving to be. However, I think it a shame that because of this decision by ACE, we are unlikely to see displays like this again in Sheffield. It annoys me to think that in future if I want to see an exhibition of comparable quality I will have to go to Leeds.

    I have received a reply to the email I sent to ACE and I find little in it to reassure me. Sheffield really does deserve better.

  155. Written by Peter Clegg about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Dear Mr Davey

    I write to express my dismay at the decision of the Arts Council to turn down the application from Museums Sheffield for Renaissance Major Grant funding. As a former employee who ran a Natural History community engagement project at the time of the major refurbishment of Weston Park Museum, I saw the delight of the people of Sheffield and South Yorkshire as they visited in their thousands to explore the new galleries and displays. It’s not only the visitors that will miss the services of the staff though. Museum’s Sheffield’s outreach programme has engaged many people and communities who would never normally visit a museum, whilst inspiring many others to take their first steps through the welcoming doors. It’s not just about the building, which will of course remain. A museum can only be as good as the team who run it. We have lost the services of the curators of Natural History in Doncaster and Rotherham and to lose them in Sheffield would be unthinkable. The popularity of the programmes Springwatch and Autumnwatch show just how interested people are in their natural heritage and their burgeoning interest can be nurtured further by a qualified, knowledgeable and dedicated team of curatorial staff. It must be remembered that the vast majority of the Museum’s collections are housed off site and to access these for research purposes can only happen with the help and knowledge of a specialist curator. Who will inspire the future generations of ecologists if the Museums service is further reduced? The weather station at Weston Park Museum has recorded the weather on a daily basis for around 130 years disseminating the readings to interested agencies around the country. I would hope that this service will continue supported by qualified staff. How on Earth can the Museums Service in one of England’s largest cities be treated in such a disrespectful way by the Arts Council? The people of Sheffield and South Yorkshire need and appreciate their museums. Please Rethink.

    Peter Clegg

  156. Written by Karen Lord about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I'm truly gutted that Museums Sheffield has been refused funding, I have enjoyed many of their events and exhibitions over the years and have always been proud of the massive impact it has made to Sheffield cultural life. The funding refusal is unfair to the city, the region and its people - especially the young people and children due to the amazing educational and outreach work Museums Sheffield provides. I am shocked by the £4.62 per head figure! And urge ACE to reconsider.

  157. Written by Steve about 2 years, 8 months ago

    This is very sad. Stop funding cuts!

  158. Written by Samantha Timson about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I have seen first hand the inspiration and enjoyment that the Museums Sheffield events have given to children and adults in the region. The cultural experience for young people in particular is invaluable. The events give children an opportunity to express themselves in a positive way and have provided a wonderful reason for families to come into the City Centre of Sheffield, bringing many people together.
    Why would we want to lose this when Sheffield has come so far? If funding is cut, it would be a very sad thing. I truly hope the funding issue will be reviewed to allow us to keep people coming into the City Centre and enjoying the precious culture Sheffield has to offer.

  159. Written by Jennifer Vickers about 2 years, 8 months ago

    The museums service in Sheffield provides access to thousands of people from diverse backgrounds, who find commmon ground through learning, enjoyment and social interaction. In this respect it is exemplary. A cut in funding will not only threaten the quality of service, but also the city's renewed self-confidence, undermining community relations that have taken years to develop.

    During a time of economic crisis, we all need somewhere to escape, be inspired or have fun, including the people of Sheffield.

  160. Written by Mrs M Healy Dufosse-Belton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a travesty, I moved to Sheffield from London six years ago and felt that Sheffield, the fourth largest city was not recieving the money it deserved especially in comparison to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds.
    When Weston Park and the Museum was redeveloped it was like a cultural black cloud had been lifted. It also made the neighbourhood safer and more pleasant.
    I work in social care mainly with disadvantaged childern from Sheffield. I often take them to the museum and galleries . They love it, and sadly for many will be the only places of culture they will visit . The Arts council is depriving our young people from Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster etc by not giving Sheffield a fair share of the pot. Sheffield has slowly crawled its way out of the gloom and is now being kicked in the face. How long would it takes us to recover again?
    As a mum to a young child, I am so grateful for our wonderful resources. I had felt confident that my child lived in a city that would nurture it young culturally and socially. Sadly this could no longer be the case. Myself and many other parents will not be able to afford the expense of travelling to other cities to see an exhibition and why should we?

  161. Written by Mrs M Healy Dufosse-Belton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a travesty, I moved to Sheffield from London six years ago and felt that Sheffield, the fourth largest city was not recieving the money it deserved especially in comparison to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds.
    When Weston Park and the Museum was redeveloped it was like a cultural black cloud had been lifted. It also made the neighbourhood safer and more pleasant.
    I work in social care mainly with disadvantaged childern from Sheffield. I often take them to the museum and galleries . They love it, and sadly for many will be the only places of culture they will visit . The Arts council is depriving our young people from Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster etc by not giving Sheffield a fair share of the pot. Sheffield has slowly crawled its way out of the gloom and is now being kicked in the face. How long would it takes us to recover again?
    As a mum to a young child, I am so grateful for our wonderful resources. I had felt confident that my child lived in a city that would nurture it young culturally and socially. Sadly this could no longer be the case. Myself and many other parents will not be able to afford the expense of travelling to other cities to see an exhibition and why should we?

  162. Written by Mrs M Healy Dufosse-Belton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a travesty, I moved to Sheffield from London six years ago and felt that Sheffield, the fourth largest city was not recieving the money it deserved especially in comparison to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds.
    When Weston Park and the Museum was redeveloped it was like a cultural black cloud had been lifted. It also made the neighbourhood safer and more pleasant.
    I work in social care mainly with disadvantaged childern from Sheffield. I often take them to the museum and galleries . They love it, and sadly for many will be the only places of culture they will visit . The Arts council is depriving our young people from Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster etc by not giving Sheffield a fair share of the pot. Sheffield has slowly crawled its way out of the gloom and is now being kicked in the face. How long would it takes us to recover again?
    As a mum to a young child, I am so grateful for our wonderful resources. I had felt confident that my child lived in a city that would nurture it young culturally and socially. Sadly this could no longer be the case. Myself and many other parents will not be able to afford the expense of travelling to other cities to see an exhibition and why should we?

  163. Written by Mrs M Healy Dufosse-Belton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a travesty, I moved to Sheffield from London six years ago and felt that Sheffield, the fourth largest city was not recieving the money it deserved especially in comparison to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds.
    When Weston Park and the Museum was redeveloped it was like a cultural black cloud had been lifted. It also made the neighbourhood safer and more pleasant.
    I work in social care mainly with disadvantaged childern from Sheffield. I often take them to the museum and galleries . They love it, and sadly for many will be the only places of culture they will visit . The Arts council is depriving our young people from Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster etc by not giving Sheffield a fair share of the pot. Sheffield has slowly crawled its way out of the gloom and is now being kicked in the face. How long would it takes us to recover again?
    As a mum to a young child, I am so grateful for our wonderful resources. I had felt confident that my child lived in a city that would nurture it young culturally and socially. Sadly this could no longer be the case. Myself and many other parents will not be able to afford the expense of travelling to other cities to see an exhibition and why should we?

  164. Written by Mrs M Healy Dufosse-Belton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a travesty, I moved to Sheffield from London six years ago and felt that Sheffield, the fourth largest city was not recieving the money it deserved especially in comparison to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds.
    When Weston Park and the Museum was redeveloped it was like a cultural black cloud had been lifted. It also made the neighbourhood safer and more pleasant.
    I work in social care mainly with disadvantaged childern from Sheffield. I often take them to the museum and galleries . They love it, and sadly for many will be the only places of culture they will visit . The Arts council is depriving our young people from Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster etc by not giving Sheffield a fair share of the pot. Sheffield has slowly crawled its way out of the gloom and is now being kicked in the face. How long would it takes us to recover again?
    As a mum to a young child, I am so grateful for our wonderful resources. I had felt confident that my child lived in a city that would nurture it young culturally and socially. Sadly this could no longer be the case. Myself and many other parents will not be able to afford the expense of travelling to other cities to see an exhibition and why should we?

  165. Written by Mrs M Healy Dufosse-Belton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a travesty, I moved to Sheffield from London six years ago and felt that Sheffield, the fourth largest city was not recieving the money it deserved especially in comparison to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds.
    When Weston Park and the Museum was redeveloped it was like a cultural black cloud had been lifted. It also made the neighbourhood safer and more pleasant.
    I work in social care mainly with disadvantaged childern from Sheffield. I often take them to the museum and galleries . They love it, and sadly for many will be the only places of culture they will visit . The Arts council is depriving our young people from Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster etc by not giving Sheffield a fair share of the pot. Sheffield has slowly crawled its way out of the gloom and is now being kicked in the face. How long would it takes us to recover again?
    As a mum to a young child, I am so grateful for our wonderful resources. I had felt confident that my child lived in a city that would nurture it young culturally and socially. Sadly this could no longer be the case. Myself and many other parents will not be able to afford the expense of travelling to other cities to see an exhibition and why should we?

  166. Written by Mrs M Healy Dufosse-Belton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a travesty, I moved to Sheffield from London six years ago and felt that Sheffield, the fourth largest city was not recieving the money it deserved especially in comparison to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds.
    When Weston Park and the Museum was redeveloped it was like a cultural black cloud had been lifted. It also made the neighbourhood safer and more pleasant.
    I work in social care mainly with disadvantaged childern from Sheffield. I often take them to the museum and galleries . They love it, and sadly for many will be the only places of culture they will visit . The Arts council is depriving our young people from Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster etc by not giving Sheffield a fair share of the pot. Sheffield has slowly crawled its way out of the gloom and is now being kicked in the face. How long would it takes us to recover again?
    As a mum to a young child, I am so grateful for our wonderful resources. I had felt confident that my child lived in a city that would nurture it young culturally and socially. Sadly this could no longer be the case. Myself and many other parents will not be able to afford the expense of travelling to other cities to see an exhibition and why should we?

  167. Written by Mrs M Healy Dufosse-Belton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a travesty, I moved to Sheffield from London six years ago and felt that Sheffield, the fourth largest city was not recieving the money it deserved especially in comparison to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds.
    When Weston Park and the Museum was redeveloped it was like a cultural black cloud had been lifted. It also made the neighbourhood safer and more pleasant.
    I work in social care mainly with disadvantaged childern from Sheffield. I often take them to the museum and galleries . They love it, and sadly for many will be the only places of culture they will visit . The Arts council is depriving our young people from Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster etc by not giving Sheffield a fair share of the pot. Sheffield has slowly crawled its way out of the gloom and is now being kicked in the face. How long would it takes us to recover again?
    As a mum to a young child, I am so grateful for our wonderful resources. I had felt confident that my child lived in a city that would nurture it young culturally and socially. Sadly this could no longer be the case. Myself and many other parents will not be able to afford the expense of travelling to other cities to see an exhibition and why should we?

  168. Written by Mrs M Healy Dufosse-Belton about 2 years, 8 months ago

    What a travesty, I moved to Sheffield from London six years ago and felt that Sheffield, the fourth largest city was not recieving the money it deserved especially in comparison to other northern cities such as Manchester and Leeds.
    When Weston Park and the Museum was redeveloped it was like a cultural black cloud had been lifted. It also made the neighbourhood safer and more pleasant.
    I work in social care mainly with disadvantaged childern from Sheffield. I often take them to the museum and galleries . They love it, and sadly for many will be the only places of culture they will visit . The Arts council is depriving our young people from Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster etc by not giving Sheffield a fair share of the pot. Sheffield has slowly crawled its way out of the gloom and is now being kicked in the face. How long would it takes us to recover again?
    As a mum to a young child, I am so grateful for our wonderful resources. I had felt confident that my child lived in a city that would nurture it young culturally and socially. Sadly this could no longer be the case. Myself and many other parents will not be able to afford the expense of travelling to other cities to see an exhibition and why should we?

  169. Written by Rachel about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I strongly urge the Arts Council to reconsider the decision to cut funding for Sheffield. Sheffield is so pleasant with its diverse population all of whom benefit from the galleries and museums. I have family and friends who come and stay from all over the country and abroad, and they are always impressed by what a cultural city Sheffield is and what it has to offer. We have outstanding exhibitions, permanent collections and the Weston Park Museum is second to none.

  170. Written by Simon Landau about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It is gratifying that ACE have met local MPs and are re-engaging with Museums Sheffield.

    It is still very difficult to understand the grounds on which funding under the Renaissance programme was refused. It will either become a self-fulfilling prophecy "Sheffield museums close all development work because they were not resilient to a cut in funding" or a self-denying ordinance "Sheffield does not need funding because they are so resilient to a cut in funding".

    The only substantive and objective ground is false - Sheffield Council and opposition are united in their continued financial support.

    Still, ACE committed themselves to a strategic conversation with stakeholders in the Spring. I call them to honour that promise in Sheffield and participate in a 'Big Conversation' under the auspices of Sheffield Fairness Commission.

    This is about fairness and how to distribute tax revenue equitably. I call on Museums Sheffield to request Professor Alan Walker (Chair of Sheffield Fairness Commission) to intervene on our behalf.

  171. Written by Simon Landau about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It is gratifying that ACE have met local MPs and are re-engaging with Museums Sheffield.

    It is still very difficult to understand the grounds on which funding under the Renaissance programme was refused. It will either become a self-fulfilling prophecy "Sheffield museums close all development work because they were not resilient to a cut in funding" or a self-denying ordinance "Sheffield does not need funding because they are so resilient to a cut in funding".

    The only substantive and objective ground is false - Sheffield Council and opposition are united in their continued financial support.

    Still, ACE committed themselves to a strategic conversation with stakeholders in the Spring. I call them to honour that promise in Sheffield and participate in a 'Big Conversation' under the auspices of Sheffield Fairness Commission.

    This is about fairness and how to distribute tax revenue equitably. I call on Museums Sheffield to request Professor Alan Walker (Chair of Sheffield Fairness Commission) to intervene on our behalf.

  172. Written by Simon Landau about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It is gratifying that ACE have met local MPs and are re-engaging with Museums Sheffield.

    It is still very difficult to understand the grounds on which funding under the Renaissance programme was refused. It will either become a self-fulfilling prophecy "Sheffield museums close all development work because they were not resilient to a cut in funding" or a self-denying ordinance "Sheffield does not need funding because they are so resilient to a cut in funding".

    The only substantive and objective ground is false - Sheffield Council and opposition are united in their continued financial support.

    Still, ACE committed themselves to a strategic conversation with stakeholders in the Spring. I call them to honour that promise in Sheffield and participate in a 'Big Conversation' under the auspices of Sheffield Fairness Commission.

    This is about fairness and how to distribute tax revenue equitably. I call on Museums Sheffield to request Professor Alan Walker (Chair of Sheffield Fairness Commission) to intervene on our behalf.

  173. Written by Simon Landau about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It is gratifying that ACE have met local MPs and are re-engaging with Museums Sheffield.

    It is still very difficult to understand the grounds on which funding under the Renaissance programme was refused. It will either become a self-fulfilling prophecy "Sheffield museums close all development work because they were not resilient to a cut in funding" or a self-denying ordinance "Sheffield does not need funding because they are so resilient to a cut in funding".

    The only substantive and objective ground is false - Sheffield Council and opposition are united in their continued financial support.

    Still, ACE committed themselves to a strategic conversation with stakeholders in the Spring. I call them to honour that promise in Sheffield and participate in a 'Big Conversation' under the auspices of Sheffield Fairness Commission.

    This is about fairness and how to distribute tax revenue equitably. I call on Museums Sheffield to request Professor Alan Walker (Chair of Sheffield Fairness Commission) to intervene on our behalf.

  174. Written by Drusilla Belfield about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It is heartbreaking to visit Sheffield and realise how vulnerable all the cultural initiatives of the last few years are. It strikes the visitor that this is a city that has only recently rediscovered a sense of pride in itself and that this is likely to vanish along with the cultural investment. And all for the cost of a fraction of one banker's severance pay!

  175. Written by Drusilla Belfield about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It is heartbreaking to visit Sheffield and realise how vulnerable all the cultural initiatives of the last few years are. It strikes the visitor that this is a city that has only recently rediscovered a sense of pride in itself and that this is likely to vanish along with the cultural investment. And all for the cost of a fraction of one banker's severance pay!

  176. Written by Simon F about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Massive +1 to all the above. Poor do by ACE and Govt.

  177. Written by Lorna Martin about 2 years, 8 months ago

    I wish to raise my concern over the Arts Council decision to turn down the £1.4m of Renaissance Major Grant funding for Museums Sheffield and request you reconsider this.

  178. Written by Mr Martin about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It is heartbreaking to visit Sheffield and realise how vulnerable all the cultural initiatives of the last few years are. It strikes the visitor that this is a city that has only recently rediscovered a sense of pride in itself and that this is likely to vanish along with the cultural investment. And all for the cost of a fraction of one banker's severance pay!

  179. Written by Mr M about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It is heartbreaking to visit Sheffield and realise how vulnerable all the cultural initiatives of the last few years are. It strikes the visitor that this is a city that has only recently rediscovered a sense of pride in itself and that this is likely to vanish along with the cultural investment. And all for the cost of a fraction of one banker's severance pay!

  180. Written by Mr M about 2 years, 8 months ago

    It is heartbreaking to visit Sheffield and realise how vulnerable all the cultural initiatives of the last few years are. It strikes the visitor that this is a city that has only recently rediscovered a sense of pride in itself and that this is likely to vanish along with the cultural investment. And all for the cost of a fraction of one banker's severance pay!

  181. Written by Julian Sankey about 2 years, 8 months ago

    Been in the Millennium gallery today. Attended the excellent guided introduction to the Metalwork gallery (Thank you).
    Have come home and written to my MP and the Chief Executive of the Arts Council to express my concern at the funding cuts.

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