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Cabinet secretary pledges National Museum will remain open

18 Apr 2024 3 minute read
The National Museum of Wales

Emily Price

The Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice has pledged that the National Museum of Wales will stay open.

At the weekend, the museum’s boss warned that a maintenance backlog of tens of millions of pounds could lead to the historic building’s closure.

Amgueddfa Cymru, the National Library for Wales and the Royal Commission all face a 10.5% cut as a result of a £700m hole in the Welsh Government’s budget.

The National Museum in Cardiff is one of Amgueddfa Cymru’s seven sites.

The organisation says it’s currently addressing a £3m reduction in its grant whilst incurring a year-on-year deficit of £1.5m.

There are warnings that at least 90 jobs could be lost as a result.


During a press conference on Monday (April 15), First Minister, Vaughan Gething defended the cuts saying, “difficult choices” had been made as a consequence of making the NHS a priority after a decade of austerity.

The news triggered public outcry and criticism from Senedd opposition parties.

A Senedd petition calling for funding for heritage institutions to be increased has reached over 10,000 signatures.

In the Senedd on Wednesday (April 17) Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice, Lesley Griffiths said she wanted to “reassure everybody that the national museum is not closing”.

She told the Chamber the Welsh Government was looking at “specific funding over the next few years” for the museum.

She said: “I think we have to recognise the budget situation, and we are where we are, we’re only at the start of the financial year now, but what I have made very clear to officials is I want them to continue to work very closely with the museum, with the chair and chief exec, to make sure they bring forward a business plan.

“I would like to see that business plan certainly by the middle of next month to see what we can then do. I don’t have a great budget, as you know, but I don’t think it is just a matter for me.

“I think it is a cross-Government issue, but every Cabinet Secretary will tell you that, but I’m very, very clear that this is an iconic building, these collections are not ours, we just look after them as we pass through, and it’s really important that we do safeguard them, and I’m very keen to work with everybody, and I welcome your commitment to that.”

Shadow Minister for Culture, Tom Giffard says any funding must be made “as soon as possible”.

He said: “While the Culture Minister’s words are welcome, words alone will not keep National Museum Cardiff open.

“It’s vital that we do not shirk our responsibilities of looking after the national collections, so Museums Wales must be properly supported, and funding must be made available as soon as possible.”


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