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MOSI faces £3.7m shortfall in DCMS bonfire

Council may have to find £12m to fund science and football museums

Published on November 10th 2010.


MOSI faces £3.7m shortfall in DCMS bonfire

Manchester City Council may have to fork out almost £12m to fund two of its most important museums following government spending cuts.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport published its four-year business plan this week, which said it would remove its sponsorship from MOSI and the National Football Museum, which is relocating from Preston.

MOSI currently receives £3.7m a year from DCMS, which will have to be replaced by other sources of funding. The council has already committed to underwrite the full £8m it will cost to bring the football museum to the city - £6m more than it originally anticipated when the deal was done. DCMS only contributes £100,000 a year to NFM.

The cuts are due to kick in during 2014/15 and finalised next April. If no funding alternative can be found, the city council will come under pressure to plug the gap at MOSI, especially as it has already committed cash to another of the city’s museums.

Tony Hill, director of MOSI, said no decisions had yet been made but it wanted to increase its commercial activity and keep the attraction free for visitors.

“We have been aware for some time of the need to diversify our funding and MOSI now has a separate fundraising department which was set up a year ago to develop new funding streams,” he said.

“MOSI is in an extremely good position to maximize commercial revenue in the future thanks to the £8.5m redevelopment of our main warehouse building. Any profits generated by the Museum will be ploughed back into our charity in the long term.”

Kevin Moore, director of the National Football Museum, said: “We haven’t been contacted by DCMS with regard to how their business plan will impact on the National Football Museum.”

“Manchester City Council is providing transitional funding for the development of the museum at Urbis and has underwritten the capital project to create this new attraction. The council has also agreed an ongoing annual revenue contribution of £2m.

"While we would be very disappointed if our funding from DCMS was discontinued, it would not affect the creation of the new National Football Museum at Urbis and its successful operation in future years.

“It would have no impact on staffing. It will be business as usual in Manchester but it would mean cuts to the delivery of our learning and social inclusion programmes across the country, which is part of our remit as a national museum. Our education and social inclusion programmes in the Manchester area, however, would not be adversely affected.”

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council's executive member for culture and leisure, said: "The National Football Museum at Urbis will be an internationally significant attraction. Manchester City Council is absolutely committed to this exciting project, all the necessary funding has been agreed, and very much looking forward to its opening next year."

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

D. MoodyNovember 10th 2010.

I am wondering what 'business as usual in Manchester' means for the NFM. Currently 'business as usual' is a shut museum.

The DCMS press release did say options were being explored. It also explicitly suggested there could be another sponsoring body for all of the museums losing funding--whether through the renaissance for the regions scheme (a distinct possibility) or an English Heritage-type body for these museums.

And you didn't mention your favourite, the PHM, which will also lose funding (currently, I believe, received by way of the MOSI allocation).

Kevin PeelNovember 10th 2010.

I'm be very disappointed to see such huge cuts to MOSI funding. The Museum is a key part of Manchester's cultural offering and plays an important role in education. Cutting funding to such institutions is short sighted and mean spirited.

Simone13024November 10th 2010.

I live opposite the museum and can directly see the work, progress etc etc the exterior works are simply a vanity exercise that isn't needed. The major problems are the actual displays with much of the warehouse being an empty vacuum. Perhaps this is where the money should have been spent before the coffers ran dry. Have they never thought of getting some Manchester based science and industry related business to sponsor exhibitions? There's been whole floors empty for years now, who actually runs the place?

DrakeNovember 10th 2010.

Simone, you're confusing capital and revenue spend. Its the former that is being spent on the Revolution programme. Its the latter that is under threat here.
You can't use one to replace the other.

However, whether the capital money should have been used to improve the state of the interiors is a very fair point!

Simone13024November 10th 2010.

Drake, I'm not, I'm referring to the figure in the article, £8.5m, related to this project. Now, whether that be capital or not is irrelevant. In my opinion it was spent wrongly. It's like building a conservatory when your bathroom, kitchen and bedroom are not fit for purpose.

Eddy RheadNovember 11th 2010.

This exemplifies the snide way the government on the one hand announcing that they will keep National museums free but in reality cutting funding to local authorities who then have to make the difficult financial decisions - getting them to do their dirty work for them.

AnonymousNovember 11th 2010.

'It would have no impact on staffing. It will be business as usual in Manchester but it would mean cuts to the delivery of our learning and social inclusion programmes across the country,'

Eh?

If less work is being done why can't we sack some staff?

D KesslerNovember 11th 2010.

'cause they need to 'attend meetings'

Kevin TilleyNovember 19th 2010.

Hmmm...

£8m to bring the NFM to the city? How long would that have funded Urbis for...

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