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As Museum Wales contends with a £4.5m deficit, it has introduced a rage of cost-saving measures, including the loss of at least 90 jobs.

Yr Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd a'r ddinas / The National Museum of Wales Cardiff and the city

Jeremy Segrott

National Museum Cardiff faces closure unless its operator, Museum Wales, can secure extra funding for "urgent critical" maintenance work, according to the organisation’s leader.

Jane Richardson, Chief Executive of Museum Wales, told BBC Wales' Sunday Supplement that issues including water leakage and failing electricity, coupled with a £3m grant reduction handed down by the Welsh Government, meant the museum would have to shut its doors unless it could find additional financing.

“The reality is, we have such a massive capital problem there in terms of the condition of the building that unless we're able to secure more funding for that building, [it] will have to close,” she said.


“We have extraordinarily special objects [there] and we can't continue to house them in a building where the water comes in.

“We would obviously then be looking at where else we could have a presence in Cardiff. But we are really clear as an organisation that that building needs urgent critical work for us to be able to continue opening to the public.”

Job losses

Richardson also confirmed that "at least 90 jobs" were being cut from the organisation as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme to mitigate the £3m grant reduction approved by the Welsh Government in December and a year-on-year deficit of £1.5m.

She described the process as “quite extraordinary”, adding that government approval for the redundancy scheme was only received in February.

“90% of our costs are staff. So, clearly, we're going to need to make redundancies to find that amount of money. 

“I've been part of many, many change programmes in different organisations over the years, but I've never ever known anything like this. 

“It's been a very difficult six weeks to implement all of that in time for the new financial year."

Richardson did not give an exact number of redundancies as the process is still ongoing. "I always said that to get to the kind of number that we needed to, we would be looking at at least 90 jobs, and that has proven to be the case, but we're still not at a total figure yet," she added.

Admission fees

To balance its budget, Museum Wales - which has seven locations across the country and more than 600 staff - will also operate reduced winter opening hours and begin charging visitors for special events, including tours and exhibitions.

Richardson said that charging general admission to Museum Wales sites had been explored but would leave the organisation financially worse off because it would lose crucial tax advantages. 

She added: “The collections belong to the people of Wales. Can you charge them to see their own collections?”

Welsh culture strategy

A Welsh Government spokesperson said they were "in discussion" with Museum Wales, adding: “Our arm’s length bodies have worked at pace to assess the impact of their budget allocation. We are grateful to them for the important work they do and the benefits that work provides to the people of Wales.

 “We have been clear our budget is up to £700m less in real terms than when it was set in 2021, and we have had to take extremely difficult decisions.”

The Welsh Government made sweeping cuts to arts and cultural organisations in its 2024/25 budget, reprioritising £16m of funding away from culture, sport, and tourism. This included a 10.5% cut for Arts Council of Wales and the National Library to protect services such as employability and skills.

Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, recently confirmed that after taking time to “pause and reflect” on the impact of the new budget on the cultural sector, a “refined and streamlined” cultural strategy for the country is now due to be published. An eight-week consultation will launch in May.

A headshot of Mary Stone