The Royal Armouries museum in Leeds has axed more than 10% of its workforce as it battles with the impact of Government spending cuts. Seventeen members of staff have been sacked from the Leeds site, and we have been toldd that nearly fifty jobs will go across the Armouries’ three UK sites. The Royal Armouries described the move as an “inevitable” consequence of its bid to save £3.4m over the next four years.
The bosses of the Armouries set up the savings plan after being told they, like other national museums, faced a 15 per cent reduction in real-terms funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). On March 31st one of the major assets in Leeds’ tourism and educational programme will quietly slip away, the victim of government cuts..
The Armouries management has sacked all their actors who interpret history and will close the tiltyard where the jousting occurs. This will be turned into a children’s’ playground. The existing actors were allowed to do a final show on March 13th.
The ten-strong live Interpretation Team at the Royal Armouries is being disbanded, along with 30 other staff redundancies. The Armouries, which reported its best year last year, undoubtedly in no small part because of the of the live displays, has decided to axe the key draw to their museum.
The Armouries management has little appreciation of what an asset the horse, falconry and historical monologue shows are. The longbowmen, Shakespearian swordsmen and the poleaxemen are gone.
So the interior of the Armouries will become as grey, silent and dull as it’s monolithic exterior,