MUSEUMS Sheffield has received a further boost with £341,000 of Arts Council funding to ensure it can still host exhibitions during the summer and provide a stay of execution for many staff whose jobs are at risk.
The trust – which is in financial turmoil after losing a bid for £1.5 million a year from the Arts Council – is currently in discussions with the funding body about a smaller grant worth £500,000 a year over three years from September.
The new award of £341,000 ‘transitional funding’ is to bridge the gap from when current the £800,000 annual grant from the Arts Council runs out in March, until a time when new arrangements could begin.
Museums Sheffield said the funding will allow it to ‘maintain immediate exhibition commitments whilst also supporting a restructure of the organisation’.
It means 21 jobs will be lost from the end of March, instead of the 45 redundancies feared. Some 23 staff whose roles were under threat will be kept on over the summer.
And a planned exhibition of Andy Warhol self-portraits at the Graves Gallery, a new family exhibition called Magic Worlds from the Victoria and Albert Museum to be held at Weston Park and a show by Sheffield contemporary artist Paul Morrison at the Millennium Gallery will all go ahead over the coming months.
Museums Sheffield chief executive Nick Dodd said: “Over the last month, the people of Sheffield have clearly demonstrated how much culture in the city means to them.
“Sheffield deserves vibrant and engaging museums and galleries.
“We are pleased that the Arts Council has agreed the transitional funding necessary to deliver our exhibition programme over the summer period and temporarily extend a number of staff posts.
“It is with great sadness that we lose so many colleagues who have made such a huge contribution to the cultural life of the city, but we will work with our partners to explore a sustainable programme for exhibitions and activity going forward.”
The transitional funding from the Arts Council follows an earlier award of £190,000 to help Museums Sheffield continue an Olympic-themed exhibition programme and cover redundancy costs.