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Museum funding cuts slammed

21st July 2011

Cuts to funding in many UK museums have been criticised amid claims they may deter the public from using the facilities.

Following the government's spending review last October, the Museums Association carried out a study to assess the impact of the budget cuts, finding that a fifth of UK museums have had their funding cut by at least 25 per cent since the review took place.

In total, 58 per cent of museums have experienced some form of budget reduction, with 86 per cent being forced to cut staff numbers and half reducing their opening times.

The Museums Association's Mark Taylor said the result of these austerity measures could be that fewer people visit the facilities because there are fewer staff to assist them, and the opening times are more restrictive.

'The survey shows it's a myth that you can cut funding without affecting front-line services. Services have been cut and opening hours restricted - there's a risk that in some cases, the doors will be slammed shut forever,' he added.

However, a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport told the BBC that the cuts to museums were 'far more favourable' than other reductions in public spending and may even benefit some facilities by reining in unnecessary outgoings.

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