Jobs at Norfolk museums at risk in £230,000 shake-up

Norwich Castle Museum. Top jobs in the museum service are at risk because of a review.

Norwich Castle Museum. Top jobs in the museum service are at risk because of a review. - Credit: Archant

The jobs of some of the top bosses who run Norfolk's museums are under threat, because of plans to save more than £230,000.

At a time when Norwich Castle Museum is hosting Homage To Manet, its latest blockbuster exhibition, a string of key posts in Norfolk Museums Service are at risk of the axe.

The cuts have been proposed as the service is expected to make just over £940,000 of savings by 2017, with £432,000 slashed from the budget for 2015/16.

The proposed new structure for senior officers is for the three area manager posts - eastern area manager, Norwich museums manager and western area manager - to be deleted. The three operations manager posts for the east, west and Norwich would also be axed, with the six posts replaced by four.

The posts of curator (archaeology), exhibitions officer and Norwich Museums development officer would also be deleted, saving just shy of £145,000. Five posts funded by the arts council, including youth engagement officers for Norwich and the west, would also be scrapped.

Steve Miller, head of Norfolk Museums Service, said: 'Regrettably, we are facing the prospect of having to make some very difficult decisions in the coming months.

'The proposal to lose approximately 10 jobs, as a result of pressures on our budget, means we can restructure to ensure the long-term sustainability of the service, and continue to deliver a high quality service to the public, schools and communities at a time of extraordinary pressure on council budgets.'

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The cuts come at a time when Norwich Castle Museum, buoyed by the successful exhibitions Roman Empire: People and Power and The Wonder Of Birds, is hoping to beat the 200,000 visitor number for the first time.

But Mr Miller said: 'The cuts will also not affect the quality of exhibitions which Norfolk Museums Service is delivering, either at Norwich or elsewhere in the county.'

However, Tom FitzPatrick, leader of the opposition Conservative group at County Hall, said: 'It doesn't seem sensible to me to be losing jobs which are helping to generate income.'

The county council will meet on Monday to make a decision on its budget for 2015/16.

• What do you think of the proposals? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.