steveslack.co.uk

2010 – the year in review

In Museum [Insider], new content on January 10, 2011 at 9:06 am

The start of a new year is an ideal time to look back and take stock of what’s happened over the last twelve months. In terms of the British arts sector and the way in which it is funded, 2010 saw some pretty big changes.

The arrival of the new coalition government in the late spring heralded a raft of changes and amendments not only to the way in which the museum and heritage sector is funded, but also how some of the bodies which represent and provide for it are organised.

The changes introduced by the Government have affected the many bodies sponsored directly by the Treasury. And they have also had implications for local and regional museums across the country.

At first sight, it might seem that these changes are most likely to affect people working in the museum sector. But if money is drying up, then suppliers to the sector are likely to be affected as well. And it’s worth considering whether the bad news that the nation’s museums have received in the last year is indeed all bad news. In some cases money is no longer available for large-scale building projects. In others, redundancies for permanent staff mean that opportunities for consultancy have opened up. Someone needs to do the work!

There’s a large review article, live on Museum [Insider] now, detailing the breadth and depth of the cuts and the impact they are likely to have on the museum and heritage sector, and also the private sector which supplies them. It’s perhaps not all such bad news.

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