Impact of funding cut felt at Bishops' House

Information released to the media today:

"It is with regret that Museums Sheffield today announces that the school visits it facilitates at Bishops’ House, one of Sheffield’s oldest timber-framed buildings, will be suspended for the foreseeable future from April 1. Funding reductions from April mean that Museums Sheffield, which has run workshops for school groups at the House since 1998, can no longer afford to cover staff costs.

Situated in Meersbrook Park, Bishops’ House has offered a unique a learning resource to teachers across the city. Over the past 14 years, Museums Sheffield has welcomed thousands of school children to explore the house’s historic collections, take part in activities and learn all about life in Tudor times.

Museums Sheffield is currently undergoing a major restructure to adjust to a significant reduction in its funding from the Arts Council England. While the organisation has been able to safeguard its existing opening hours, the level of staff-led activity it is able to provide for schools across the city’s museums and galleries is set to decrease from September.

Museums Sheffield will continue to deliver its existing programme of schools workshops at Weston Park, Millennium Gallery and Graves Gallery throughout the forthcoming summer term. From September, provision for schools will be more limited, with a reduced programme of workshops led by museum staff. Museums Sheffield is currently exploring alternative funding possibilities and it is hoped that activity will increase again in the long term.

Kim Streets, Director of Learning and Knowledge at Museums Sheffield said:

”We’re very sad to see our work with schools at Bishops’ House come to an end, though we hope that we can find a way to resume it in the future. In the current climate, we simply can’t afford to maintain that provision and it just isn’t viable to ask primary schools to meet the full cost. Our focus now is on working with partners such as the Friends of Bishops’ House to find a solution which will allow schools to access the House”

Bishops' House is open at weekends thanks to the voluntary organisation, the Friends of Bishops' House – for more details visit www.bishopshouse.org.uk.  The Friends of Bishops' House are now exploring avenues to offer schools' access to this valuable resource."

For more information about booking a school visit to the Millennium Gallery,Graves Gallery or Weston Park email learning@museums-sheffield.org.uk or call 0114 278 2655.

Mar 27 2012

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