Calls to keep Costume Museum open

Moves to close the National Museum of Costume in Dumfries would send a "terrible signal about how our region is viewed", according to a local MP.

Russell Brown has written to Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop to step in and ensure the museum stays open.

A consultation into its future is underway, as the Scottish government funded National Museums of Scotland said it can no longer continue to operate the site due to poor visitor numbers.

A spokesperson said that the museum has a:

"very large operational spend per museum visitor, £23, and low visitation, 10,000 annual visits to the museum and 5,000 to the shop, café and grounds. It attracts just 0.6% of the total visits to our group of museums."

– Museum spokesperson

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said

“I was very concerned to hear that the National Museum of Costume at Shambellie House is under threat because of SNP budget cuts. It is an important asset to Dumfries and Galloway and its possible closure will come as a big blow to staff as local people and visitors. "The museum may be small compared to other museums owned by the National Museums of Scotland in the country, but it is significant for our region. If the National Museums of Scotland is to be a truly national organisation then it needs to represent the whole of Scotland.

"The closure of the National Museum of Costume at New Abbey would send a terrible signal about how our region is viewed. Yet again the SNP Government seems too ready to forget about Dumfries and Galloway. I’ve written to the Cultural Secretary Fiona Hyslop calling on her to step in and keep the museum open. We must fight to protect what we have in our region and I won’t stand back and watch as we lose local services.”

– MP Russell Brown