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Lady Lever Museum closed for the day as staff meet to discuss funding cuts
Updated 10:52am Thursday 24th April 2014 in News
WIRRAL'S Lady Lever Gallery is one of eight museums on Merseyside closed today for a staff meeting when workers will learn if more redundancies are in the pipeline.
Employees from the Port Sunlight gallery are to join colleagues at the World Museum in Liverpool city centre at noon to give their views on how further cuts to museum services will affect them.
All eight venues run by National Museums Liverpool are to remain closed throughout the day.
A notice on the group’s website says its museums will be closed “to speak to staff about future planning in the face of funding cuts.”
It says that with so many staff attending this meeting, the closure is necessary for the safety of visitors and security of museum collections.
Government cuts to the arts sector have led to the loss of 130 jobs in NML since 2010.
The latest potential threat is due to further budget reductions set to hit Merseyside museums.
Since 2010, NML has seen its spending power reduced by 28% leaving management little option but to axe jobs.
Last month, the group announced it would be losing more than 30 posts in the next financial year.
Venues include the Lady Lever Art Gallery, the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum and Sudley House.
They will reopen as normal on Friday.
Birkenhead’s Williamson Art Gallery and Museum is not affected by today’s closures.
The Lady Lever opened in 1922 and was founded by Edwarian philanthropist Lord Leverhulme.
It is currently staging an exhibition of works by one of the greatest British artists of all time, JMW Turner.
Commenting on today's closure Wirral South MP Alison McGovern, in whose constituency the Lady Lever Art Gallery is based, told the Globe: "Arts and culture matter for the quality of life of everyone living in Wirral, so it is worrying to see this happen.
"Unfortunately Conservative ministers in London don’t seem to understand the different environment in Merseyside to raise funds, especially given that there are fewer wealthy donors, and cuts to councils in Liverpool city region have been so horrific."
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