Museums Sheffield suffers devastating budget blow

Museums Sheffield has vowed to appeal after discovering today it has been unsuccessful in its funding application to the Arts Council England’s Renaissance Major Grants programme.  Museums Sheffield had applied for £1.4m per year for the next three years – cash which would have replaced and built on an outgoing national funding stream the Trust has received since 2004.  Museums Sheffield, which has suffered significant reductions in funding from other sources in the past three years, must now manage a crushing 30% reduction in its overall budget from 1 April 2012.

Nick Dodd, Chief Executive of Museums Sheffield, says:
“This is bitterly disappointing news. Funding from the outgoing Renaissance in the Regions scheme has transformed the quality of museum and gallery provision in Sheffield over the past 8 years. We know we put together a compelling case for continued funding under the new Arts Council grants programme, which met all the published criteria. This decision will have a devastating impact and leaves Sheffield, South Yorkshire and the East Midlands grossly under-funded by the Arts Council in comparison with other parts of the country. We fully intend to appeal and will be questioning the Arts Council’s strategic and geographical distribution of this public money”
Museums Sheffield is still in negotiation with its principal funder, Sheffield City Council, over its funding settlement for 2012/13.  The City Council had firmly backed Museums Sheffield’s bid to the Arts Council, which would have seen an additional £3.55 coming into the city for every £5 of City Council funding.
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, says:
”This is a huge disappointment for the city and Museums Sheffield. We know Sheffield had a very strong bid and should have been recognised for its cultural offer. I want to know why we were not successful and how we compared to others. We want to stand up for Sheffield, support the appeal and will await the decision with interest.”
The reduction in funding will have a huge impact on museum and gallery provision in Sheffield.  Museums Sheffield is responsible for the Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery, and Weston Park museum. Though Sheffield City Council have pledged that the annual funding they provide for Museums Sheffield will mean no museums or galleries in the city will close, the quality of service offered to visitors in those buildings will decline significantly.  Large scale staff redundancies, major reductions in exhibition programmes, and scaled down learning provision for schools/adults are all now inevitable. 

Museums Sheffield is now in negotiation with Arts Council England over short term funding to ease the transition towards its reduction in scale and activity.

Jan 24 2012


  1. Written by theo about 3 years, 8 months ago

    That's a real shame, although the galleries could and should be a lot better.

  2. Written by jo about 3 years, 8 months ago

    such tragic news for Sheffield and our visitors

  3. Written by Dr Chris Cumberpatch about 3 years, 8 months ago

    The word disaster is not, for once, an exaggeration. Sheffield Museums have, for a number of years, been unable to fulfill one of the core functions of any regional museum service, i.e. the provision of proper facilities for the maintenance and expansion of its archives and the facilities necessary for work on these archives by researchers from the commercial, academic and amateur/voluntary sectors. This news will presumably mean that the archives will remain inaccessible for many more years to come. A very bad day, not only for Sheffield but for everyone with an interest in and concern for the archaeology and history of the museum's collecting area.

    Dr Chris Cumberpatch
    RESCUE - The British Archaeological Trust

  4. Written by Michelle Guite about 3 years, 8 months ago

    i am greatly saddened by the failure to secure further funding. I would like to know how the Arts council funding has been distributed nationally and would call for equity in this time of austerity. All my family have thoroughly enjoyed and gained from the many and varied opportunities offered by museums sheffield. The Museums have always managed to offer something exciting and engaging across the age ranges and I can only hope that the Arts council have a change of heart and that our city is not impoverished by this decision.

  5. Written by JOY HURDING about 3 years, 8 months ago

    what response from your MP how do we get a message to him come on NICK show your marbles shorle a deputy Priministyer can do something for his own city???y

  6. Written by Gay Stonehouse about 3 years, 8 months ago

    Terrible news for Sheffield and all who use these facilities for education, information and recreation.
    Support your museums and galleries, and use 'em or lose 'em!

  7. Written by Joey Ramone about 3 years, 8 months ago

    This is very sad news, but I expect that it's just the tip of the iceberg, with further cuts to come. I will be surprised if Sheffield Museums and the Ruskin Gallery etc continue to be free to visitors. This government will cut and cut until there's nothing left. Make your voice heard if you disagree with their policies and don't vote for the Tories or Lib Dems again!

  8. Written by Sheridan Mac Innes about 3 years, 8 months ago

    It is very disappointing that Sheffield has not received this funding and it can only be to the detriment of the people of Sheffield. Good quality museums enrich our lives through high class exhibitions, classes and educational programmes. They also attract visitors to the city. Both of these things are particularly important in these difficult economic times, especially as Sheffield is in an area of high unemployment.

  9. Written by Mary Love about 3 years, 8 months ago

    I am angry to find that Sheffield isn't considered important enough to fund our wonderful museums. The going gets tough and Sheffield gets shoved into the corner again!

  10. Written by Valerie Kirkham about 3 years, 8 months ago

    I am one of the Friends of the Museums and Galleries and I am devastated by the news of the cuts in our funding from ACE. I have foolowed Amy Brighton's request and e-mailed the head of ACE to express my dismay at the unfair reduction in our allocation of funds. Do thes people ever visit our cities to assess the value of what we could lose?

  11. Written by mick ibbotson about 3 years, 8 months ago

    SCC will be cutting their contribution too - they have to - its coming down to hard choices - whether to fund museums or social services for the needy - difficult choice. Perhaps its time for SM to sell off some of its archived items which never see the light of day?

  12. Written by Patrick Abel about 3 years, 8 months ago

    I find it amazing that this country's 4th largest city constantly gets a poor deal. Made even worse by the fact we have the deputy prime minister liviong here and we still get no support!

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