Culture Minister calls for five year plan at museum

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The Culture Minister says “things must change” at one of Yorkshire’s most pretigious museums.

Ed Vaizey told the Commons that while there is no danger of either the National Media Museum in Bradford or any of the other under-threat museums across the North of England being shut down by funding costs they needed to have a “five-year plan”.

Mr Vaizey confirmed reports that museums will receive a five per cent cut in next week’s post-2015 spending review – half the level which the national Science Museum Group had said would lead to the closure of either the Media Museum, the National Railway Museum in York or the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

“In the context of this spending round, I think that is a significant success story,” Mr Vaizey said.

“There is absolutely no reason why any of these museums in the Science Museum Group should close because of funding levels.”

The Minister was speaking in a Commons debate last night called by Bradford West MP George Galloway, following the huge outcry right across the North sparked by the museum group’s announcement that one of its regional museums may close.

Mr Galloway praised Mr Vaizey for his assurances earlier this week that all the museums will remain open, before turning his fire on the museum group and its chief executive Ian Blatchford, who was paid almost £150,000 last year.