Live updates

Shambellie House to close for good

Scotland's smallest national museum, the national museum of costume in Dumfries and Galloway, is to be permanently closed because it is 'simply not sustainable'.

Shambellie House is run by National Museums Scotland who say it costs £220,000 a year to run and attracts just 10,000 visitors a year, which is less than 1% of the total number of visitors to Scotland's five national museums.

John Bevir has this report:

£20k funding for study into Shambellie House future

The Culture Secretary for Scotland, Fiona Hyslop, has announced £20,000 in funding for a study into the future of Shambellie House.

The study is being funded by the Scottish Government after National Museums Scotland announced that the Museum of Costume, based in New Abbey near Dumfries, is to close.

“I am keen that NMS helps to find a solution for the future of the site, working in conjunction with the Council. I expect them to take forward this feasibility study quickly.

“I understand that NMS is already committed to continuing to deliver a service in Dumfries and Galloway, by enhancing its programme of loans to local museums.

“However, I think it is essential that all possible avenues are explored to maximise the potential of Shambellie House and its contribution to the life of the local community."

– Fiona Hyslop, Culture Secretary

Advertisement

'The low number of visitors is simply not sustainable'

The National Museum of Scotland said that while it has been working hard to supplement its funding through reducing staff numbers, efficiency savings, growing earned income, and attracting donations and sponsorship, the financial climate remains very difficult.

“It is with great regret that we have taken the decision to close the National Museum of Costume.

"While this has been an extremely difficult decision for the Board of Trustees, we are clear that in the current challenging financial climate it is a necessary part of a range of cost savings which ensures the long-term future of our national collections.”

– Bruce Minto, Chairman, Trustees of National Museums Scotland,

“The difficult decision to close the National Museum of Costume has been taken after extensive consideration of all other options across National Museums.

"The low number of visitors to the site along with the high operational costs is simply not sustainable. In addition, the domestic layout of Shambellie House places limitations on it being used effectively as a national museum.

“We remain committed to delivering services to Dumfries and Galloway in partnership with the local authority and other stakeholders through the provision of loans, exhibitions and outreach programmes."

– Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland

Low visitor numbers blamed for museum closure

The National Museum of Costume based at Shambellie House, near Dumfries, will not re-open for business in the spring.

The closure of the museum comes as a result of the economic recession and falling visitor numbers.

The museum attracted around 10,000 visitors per year, and 5,000 to the shop, cafe and grounds.

The house was opened as a museum in 1982, and is owned by the Scottish Government.

Advertisement

Decision day for Dumfriesshire costume museum

A board meeting is taking place to decide the fate of a costume museum in Dumfries and Galloway.

National Museums Scotland says high running costs and reduced funding means Shambellie House in New Abbey may have to close.

A decision on its fate was expected in November, but museum bosses agreed to delay for three months to allow for further public consultation.

There has been cross party concern from MSPs in the area about the impact closing the tourist attraction would have on the area.

Future of costume museum debated

The future of a small costume museum in Dumfries and Galloway is the subject of a big debate tonight at the the Scottish Parliament.

National Musuems of Scotland say they need to close Shambellie House in New Abbey because of budget cuts.

Several local MSPs have been campaigning to save it.

They're supporting Dumfries and Galloway Council’s request for a 12-month extension before a final decision is made.

The council and other partners are looking at ways to boost profits and save the museum in the long term.

South of Scotland Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume said:

“To lose a museum of national importance would represent a serious blow to the region’s cultural activities which attracts 15,000 visitors each year. This could be severely damaging to this rural area’s local economy.

“At a time when Edinburgh’s National Museum has undergone a substantial investment programme, many people across Dumfries and Galloway will rightly be asking why Shambellie House is being put in jeopardy.

“Until a permanent solution has been found, I’m backing local calls for a twelve month period of grace. Closure must not be an option.”

– Jim Hume MSP
Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories