It is with regret that the National Army Museum announces that it is undertaking restructuring due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent public health measures, which are likely to have long-term consequences for the Museum. The Museum is in the early stages of consultation around a restructuring proposal that includes possible redundancies of around 10-15% of the workforce, as the Museum seeks to financially recover. The Museum has undertaken a review of its operations across the organisation to ensure that it is able to respond to likely changes in demand for its services.
Following the Museum's re-opening in early July 2020, visitor numbers have reduced to 15% of pre-Covid performance and subsequently the Museum's self-earned income, including that of its trading arm, has seen a significant reduction. Despite a wide range of cost-saving measures already taken this year, the proposed changes need to be made to ensure that the Museum survives both the financial impact of the pandemic and continues to engage its audiences in the future in new ways. It is anticipated that it will take a number of years for the sector as a whole to recover.
This year, the Museum has delayed the planned rise in employer pension contributions and suspended the staff bonus scheme to control costs. The Army has stood behind the Museum throughout the pandemic through its provision of a Grant-in-Aid which covers the basic operational running costs. Losing some dedicated and passionate professionals is a source of deep regret to the Museum. Those staff members affected by the proposals have been informed.
The Director of the National Army Museum, Justin Maciejewski, said:
'The public health response to Covid-19 has had a major impact on the Museum. This impact is both financial and structural. The duration of these measures means that some of the changes we have seen in what our audiences want from us are likely to be permanent. As we build back from Covid-19, we are going to need to be different from the way we were going into this pandemic if we are to meet the demands of our audiences and fulfil our Royal Charter objects. Preparing for the future, whilst dealing with significant financial losses, requires us to make difficult decisions.'
Published: 23 November 2020