Stay of execution for museum staff

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SOME of the 45 Museums Sheffield staff facing redundancy will be granted a reprieve of up to six months after the trust was granted a small amount of funding from the Arts Council.

The undisclosed figure will cover the cost and staffing of planned events to coincide with the Olympics and help pay towards redundancy costs after losing a bid for £4.2 million.

Museums Sheffield is also bidding for ‘transition’ funding from the Arts Council to allow it to keep its advertised programme of events at the Graves and Millennium Galleries, and Weston Park Museum, over spring and summer.

Nick Dodd, Museums Sheffield chief executive, said the trust is also preparing a new bid for longer-term Arts Council funding - from grants totalling £15 million each year which are being handed out in September.

Mr Dodd said: “We are receiving a small sum which will allow us to continue some of our plans for the Olympics and also to cover redundancy costs. It will allow a stay of execution for up to six jobs.

“We also hope the Arts Council will confirm a request for a larger sum which will enable us to put on our advertised programme of events.

“It will mean we can keep more staff for those months.”

Mr Dodd said the trust is preparing a new application for the next round of long-term Arts Council funding which is being allocated in September.

The trust is looking for a amount similar to the £800,000 existing annual grant, ending in March.

Mr Dodd said the trust was ‘really grateful’ for Sheffield Council’s decision not to cut its annual grant, as well as the amount of support from the public, celebrities and businesses after losing on its larger bid to the Arts Council.