Museums Sheffield recently received confirmation of a proposed 10% cut in the annual service charge it receives from Sheffield City Council. This amounts to a £200k reduction in funding for the year beginning 1 April 2013. Against a backdrop of declining core funding for arts organisations and museums across the country, the charity now hopes to plug the funding gap by increasing its business activity to better support its charitable mission.
The past year has already seen Museums Sheffield adjust to major changes in its funding by streamlining its operations across the three sites it manages. Over the next three months Museums Sheffield will create a new, dedicated retail team tasked with delivering a growth strategy for retail across the city’s museums and galleries and via Museums Sheffield’s online shop. The team will be recruited internally from existing Visitor Services staff, however it is anticipated that the associated re-structure of the Visitor Services team will lead to a small number of redundancies. Museums Sheffield will also create a programme of new evening events later in 2013 specifically intended to generate income through ticket and bar sales. In addition, the charity will maximise capacity of the flexible commercial space at the Millennium Gallery, which will see it better positioned to host its own events and to offer a prime city centre venue for corporate and private hire.
Kim Streets, Chief Executive, said:
“Sheffield City Council is facing major financial challenges and while we are disappointed by the proposed 10% reduction in funding, the news was expected. Like many museum and gallery organisations across the UK, Museums Sheffield is faced with the challenge of adapting to survive. We’re doing this by focussing more of our resources on income generating activity whilst reducing our core expenditure. This does mean that in the next few months we will unfortunately lose some posts from within our existing Visitor Services team as we re-structure to develop our retail offer. In the long term we are striving to become more resilient and better able to cope with a major economic downturn that is likely to affect us for several years to come."
Millennium Gallery © Andy Brown
Jan 31 2013