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Science Museum Group outlines redundancy plans and challenges ahead

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Science Museum Group director and chief executive Sir Ian Blatchford has released another statement outlining its redundancy plans and challenges ahead amid COVID-19.

It has been more than six months since the five museums of the Science Museum Group had to close as part of a nationwide attempt to control the spread of COVID-19.

“Like the communities we serve, and so many other cultural organisations, the Science Museum Group has been hit very hard,” said Blatchford.

The Science Museum Group has lost approximately £23m in expected revenues in 2020. Its forecasts for next year suggest revenues will be down by around £15m.

Science Museum revenues down by £15m in 2021

As part of a review of its operations, Blatchford revealed that the group’s museums will only be open for five days a week outside of holiday periods until March 2022.

“Given the severe impact of coronavirus-related restrictions on visit numbers and the move to five-day opening outside of holiday periods, the first phase of the review has focused on diminished need,” wrote Blatchford.

As previously confirmed, the Science Museum Group has “no choice by to reduce the scale of our organisation” due to the pandemic.

Blatchford has now said that the group plans to “reduce the overall number of positions by 65 full time equivalents, which could result in a maximum of 95 redundancies, though likely less as colleagues consider voluntary options”.

Redundancies will affect 65 full time equivalents

“Sadly, it is inevitable that more positions will go during subsequent phases of the review,” he added. “This is a step we take with huge reluctance.”

“While the road to recovery may be long, we will remain focused on the great benefit we bring to our audiences,” said Blatchford.

The V&A is also making 10 percent of employees redundant due to the “ongoing impact of COVID-19”, while Disney Parks is laying off approximately 28,000 employees.

The Royal Academy of Arts plans to consult staff on making 150 people redundant, and the Museum of London is entering a period of consultation with workers on proposed redundancies.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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