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Museum is set to axe 70 jobs
4:43pm Tuesday 11th September 2012 in News
THE BLACK Country Living Museum has announced costcutting plans to shed 70 jobs and close two days a week during winter after “the most appalling summer”.
Bosses at the open-air attraction on Tipton Road said a £70,000 a year funding cut from Dudley Council, which comes into force next year, and a drop in visitor numbers over the last five months led to the decision, which would help the 98 per cent selffunded museum claw back £250,000 a year.
A 30-day consultation period has been launched and if given the goahead the museum will close Mondays and Tuesdays between November and Easter.
Seventy out of 239 staff are potentially set to be affected by the shakeup, with the majority of them being casual costumed museum guides.
Other losses are expected to come from the behind-the-scenes administration staff.
Museum director and chief executive, Andrew Lovett, said the museum’s focus would now shift to finding new ways of delivering a more interactive, engaging and curriculum-relevant educational service for the 67,000 student visitors each year, with a much smaller and more highly-trained team of staff.
Mr Lovett, who took over the 26- acre museum’s reigns in 2009, said: “We owe it to the children and students who visit, as well as those that had the foresight to create this remarkable museum, to deliver the best possible educational services, and these changes have the potential to put us at the forefront of heritage education in the UK.
“At the same time, in the face of continuing difficult economic conditions and frankly, the most appalling summer for outdoor visitor attractions, we must adapt by reducing costs, as well making sure we are generating as much revenue as we possibly can.”