I am sorry that the Pumphouse Educational Trust have decided to close down. They have been working in Rotherhithe since 1989 and I know that their work has been valued by local schools and residents.
I am afraid that they are one of the victims of the Government's spending cuts. As I have said previously, you cannot take £34 million out of our budget this year and honestly believe that it will have no impact on the services we provide and the organisations which we support - especially with another £50 million of cuts to come over the next two years.
So for anyone who is angry at Southwark Council for the cuts to the Pumphouse's funding my advice is that they should really direct their ire towards central government.
For organisations like the Pumphouse we have tried to ease the cuts by encouraging applications to our Voluntary Sector Transition Fund, and also tried to encourage access to other sources of funding. Schools budgets have significantly increased this year - so it may have been that some solution would have been possible in collaboration with the museum's principal users.
Of course it is always open to organisations such as the Pumphouse not to try and battle on, so I respect the decision they have taken.
We are not alone in facing difficult choices about what museums and organisations we support. This extract from the BBC news website yesterday, which includes references to the Pumphouse, includes a quote from Mark Taylor, Director of the Museums Association:
"Mr Taylor said councils are facing painful choices, and it could be better to close some museums in order to preserve the best.
"I personally would prefer to see a slightly smaller number of museums kept open and active, rather than all the museums kind of set in aspic, with no budget at all to do anything.""
The full article is here