Black Country Living Museum plans 70 job losses

Black Country Living Museum The museum employs 239 people and costs £3.3m a year to run

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The Black Country Living Museum has said it plans to cut up to 70 jobs because of falling visitor numbers.

Under proposals to save £250,000 a year the museum will also close for two days a week during the winter.

Chief Executive Andrew Lovett said visitor numbers were down about 40,000 on what he had expected this year.

"Being mainly self funding we have to earn almost everything we need to run, so any downturn in people visiting has a significant impact," he said.

"We know people are spending less on our site, rising petrol costs are having an impact and then we had an appalling summer.

"Our losses are very significant and we can no longer ignore that."

'Impossible situation'

From next year the museum will also lose a £70,000 a year grant from Dudley Council.

The council made the decision to withdraw funding in March because it needs to save £13m from its own budget.

Mr Lovett said: "I don't blame the local authority at all.

"I won't have a bad word said against them because like many local authorities up and down the country they're in impossible situation and have to make difficult choices."

The museum, which costs about £3.3m a year to run, currently employs 239 people.

It said both casual and contracted staff would be affected by the job cuts.

Under the plans it would be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays from 1 November until April.

The museum said it was currently consulting workers about the plans.

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