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Norfolk museums confident about the future

PUBLISHED: 12:12 02 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:09 02 July 2010

Norwich Castle Museum.

Norwich Castle Museum.

Stephen Pullinger

Norfolk museums are confident they can continue to prosper in a climate of post-election cuts despite a dire warning from the Art Fund.

Stephen Pullinger

Norfolk museums are confident they can continue to prosper in a climate of post-election cuts despite a dire warning from the Art Fund.

The national charity which offers grants to museums and galleries fears that local authority museums are in danger of falling behind those of national attractions.

In a survey of 276 UK museums it found that 75pc polled cited inadequate funding and reduced spending as the biggest barrier to collecting.

And it found one in five museums and galleries felt avoiding staff cuts, and therefore loss of expertise, was a major obstacle to amassing more items.

The charity said survey responses suggested museums were “nervous” about public money being cut further after the general election.

However, Vanessa Trevelyan, head of Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, said: "Here in Norfolk we are very confident about the future of our museums.

“Such attractions as the Castle Museum, Time and Tide and Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse continue to prove hugely popular and we can see no reason for that to change.”

She said, where enhancing their collections was concerned, they had a dynamic acquisition and disposal policy, although they did not have a specific acquisitions budget.

“There are always gaps in our collections that we are seeking to fill and where an item becomes available we look for suitable grant aid to help us acquire it. We rely entirely on fund-raising from bodies such as the Art Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the MLA/V&A purchase grant fund for the regions,” she said.

Since 1999 they had raised more than £3m to augment their collections. However, they were aware that everything acquired needed looking after and that they needed to be prudent about what they took on.

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