Our Chief Exec, Nick Dodd, met with the Arts Council and local MP Nick Clegg this morning. Paul Blomfield MP also met with Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England earlier today, showing cross-party support for Museums Sheffield following ACE's recent decision to withdraw funding from Sheffield.
Paul Blomfield MP said of his meeting with the Alan Davey:
"The extraordinary response to the Arts Council’s decision two weeks ago has shown just how important our museums are to Sheffield people. They offer a key part of the city’s wider cultural offer and help to spark creativity right across the city as well as bringing in inward investment.
“I had a very positive meeting with the Arts Council on Thursday morning. I think they now understand the depth of feeling about this decision amongst people in Sheffield, and I’m looking forward to working with them to find a way to avert the crisis that Museums Sheffield are facing.”
After Nick Clegg met with the Arts Council the following press release was issued by the Liberal Democrats:
"Sheffield Hallam MP, Nick Clegg, and representatives from Museums Sheffield met Arts Council Chief Executive Alan Davey and others from the organisation in Westminster this morning. Nick Clegg asked for the meeting following the Arts Council's decision to turn down a bid from Museums Sheffield for £4.2m of funding.
Commenting, Nick Clegg said:
"I know how important Sheffield's museums and galleries are to protecting the city's cultural heritage and to residents across South Yorkshire and the East Midlands. That's why local Liberal Democrats moved quickly to ensure the money Museums Sheffield receives from Sheffield City Council is protected.
"The Arts Council is independent of government and I more than anyone understand what it is like for them to make difficult decisions at a time when there is less money to go around.
"It is important these decisions are made as fairly as possible and that is why I stressed to them how important it is that Sheffield is treated fairly compared to other comparable cities. I am confident that the Arts Council now recognise the urgent need to reassure residents in Sheffield that appropriate funding will be in place to support our museums on an ongoing and sustainable basis."
Chief Executive of Museums Sheffield, Nick Dodd said:
"I am grateful for the support we have received from Nick Clegg as we strive to protect Sheffield's museums and galleries.
"The Arts Council have made it clear that both transitional funding and strategic funds will be available to Sheffield and we continue our efforts to secure the best possible outcome for the people of the city."
Thanks once again for the messages of support, which keep coming in. We will, of course, continue to update our visitors and supporters as our funding situation develops.
Feb 09 2012