24 Jul 2020

A statement from Birmingham Museums Trust

It is with regret that Birmingham Museums Trust has entered a period of redundancy consultations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Around half of our staff have been placed at risk of redundancy.

We are working hard to do everything possible to ensure the future of the Trust. Discussions continue with our funders Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England and we are also waiting to hear more details about the £1.57 billion Government’s support package for the cultural sector. This new funding was very welcome news and when we know more about the application process, we will make our case for the financial support we need. 

Our public campaign has raised over £25,000. Thank you to everyone who has donated and shared messages of support, it is very moving to see the role that Birmingham Museums plays in people’s lives. All donations support our valuable work and will help secure our future.

The fact remains that without significant additional funding our charity faces a challenging future. At this stage we anticipate a considerable drop in visitors and the loss of income from our cafes, shops, tickets and other commercial activity is unsustainable. We have been enterprising, secured what funding and support we can, and have reduced our costs, but we now need to cut back further and this is how we have reached the painful decision to consult staff about redundancies.

Niels de Vos, Chair of Birmingham Museums Trust: 

“Birmingham Museums Trust is a not-for-profit organisation without large reserves. Since April a large proportion of our staff have been furloughed and with this scheme coming to an end, we sadly can’t save everyone’s jobs. Only when visitor numbers and spend return to pre-coronavirus levels will our business model break even again. We desperately want to avoid redundancies, but we must do what we can to secure the future of the charity so that Birmingham Museums can be back open to inspire, educate and entertain the people of this great city once again.”

Our staff are the heart of our organisation, they care deeply about what they do and are always keen to share their enthusiasm for culture, heritage and science with others. We are proud of what Birmingham Museums Trust has achieved thanks to our dedicated staff, and how they have adapted during this very challenging time. Those affected have been contacted and no final decisions on redundancies will be made until the consultation process has been completed.