STAFF at museums and art galleries in Wirral and Liverpool have been warned their jobs are at risk because of budget cutbacks.

At a special meeting held in Liverpool city centre today, staff were given insight into the bleak financial position in light of central government cuts.

National Museums Liverpool needs to reduce staffing numbers by around 67.

Alternative positions will be created, meaning a net loss of some 38 jobs.

These will be from across the organisation and will include administration roles and senior management.

Among those at the meeting were staff from the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight.

Director of the NML, Dr David Fleming, said: "It is vital we discuss with our staff face-to-face our current funding plight and what it means to them in terms of jobs.

"Tragically, it’s inevitable that we will lose valuable staff.

"We are continuing to talk to all our staff and unions during this difficult and unsettling period."

All eight NML facilities were closed today to allow the meeting to take place. Dr Fleming apologised for any inconvenience caused.

Last month, staff were invited to express interest in a voluntary redundancy scheme.

That scheme is now formally open.

Since 2010, three voluntary severance schemes have seen 94 staff leave the organisation.

National Museums Liverpool cannot sell any of its collections or introduce admission charges as this is not allowed by the Government.