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Bradford Council funds for National Media Museum ruled out
Bradford Council has played down talk of a cash injection to help save the National Media Museum ahead of a visit by a committee of MPs.
The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee is heading to Bradford amid continuing concern about the long-term future of the attraction.
The MPs – led by Bradford South’s Gerry Sutcliffe and Shipley’s Philip Davies – are keen to get a face-to-face report about progress on a financial rescue package.
A five-year masterplan, put forward by the museum, was accepted by trustees of the Science Museum Group in December.
But the Treasury then announced a further cut in funding, which has left the group needing to find a further £787,000 in savings in two years.
The group already has to find £3.7 million savings by the end of 2015/16 – and bosses put its overall “real terms” cut since 2010 at more than 30 per cent.
Since last year, museum director Jo Quinton-Tulloch has been working with the Council and the University of Bradford on a package to breathe new life into the attraction.
Meetings have been held with Council leader David Green and Tony Reeves, the Council’s chief executive.
But last night Councillor Green told the Telegraph & Argus: “Bradford Council has not been asked for any financial support at this time.
“We will continue to work with the museum to support its future plans and to identify ways in which we can help secure its future.
“The National Media Museum needs to remain part of the national Science Museum Group and that the main responsibility for securing its future sustainability lies with the Science Museum Group.”
The all-party committee will visit the museum on Monday, March 10, following up the inquiry at Westminster last summer when closure was a threat.
Mr Sutcliffe said: “We want to hear an update from the museum about the progress it has made in discussions with the Council about its long-term future.
“I think it’s a positive step that the MPs want to come to Bradford. It shows their commitment to ensuring we have a national museum that befits the title.”
The museum has drawn up plans to create two new permanent galleries, a temporary exhibition space, overhaul its lobby and entrances and join forces with a commercial cinema partner.
However, Miss Quinton-Tulloch has warned it must now look for new funding streams, as well as reduce its costs, following the latest Government cuts.
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