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Ludlow Museum staff in redundancy fear

South Shropshire | News | Published:

Ludlow Museum staff have been told they face redundancy – sparking an outcry among historians and supporters of the venue.

Experts including the curator at Ludlow's museum have been told their jobs are at risk as part of a plan to move artefacts to a new centre at the Buttercross, which is due to open in March.

Consultation has been launched with affected staff by Shropshire Council, which runs the museum. It is thought the new museum would receive support from historical experts based in Shrewsbury should the redundancy plan go ahead.

It is understood three posts are at risk. The news has been met with anger by members of the Friends of Ludlow Museum and Ludlow Town Council, who fear the expertise of staff working at the centre will be lost and not replaced.

Councillor Paul Draper, mayor of Ludlow and chairman of the Buttercross Working Group, said: "Ludlow Town Council is very concerned that Ludlow will lose all of its museum expertise when the town council is working to create the Buttercross Heritage Interpretation Centre and Museum.

"Ludlow Museum Resource Centre is the conservation laboratory of the county, and the town council has been impressed by the wealth of knowledge held by the resource centre's staff.

"However, it now seems that the resource centre will be mothballed and the local expertise that has supported the Buttercross Museum will be lost.

"Losing the curator and interpretation skills in Ludlow will undermine our efforts to deliver the high standard of museum services at the Buttercross."

He said the town council's concerns were shared by the Friends of Ludlow Museum, a very active local organisation supporting the oldest museum the county.

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John Barratt, a local author, member of Ludlow Historical Research Group and volunteer at the current museum, called the idea "barbarism".

Andy Boddington, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North and a former archaeologist, said: "I accept that there have to be staff reductions but why do the remaining jobs have to be centralised in Shrewsbury?

"The south of county is being stripped of everything. History is central to this town's economy."

A Shropshire Council spokesman said: "Shropshire Council is looking at all areas of operation as it makes efficiency savings of £80 million over the next three years."

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