Shock as staff at Harlow Museum and Science Alive made redundant

STAFF at Harlow Museum and Science Alive have been made redundant after months of uncertainty over both places.

Harlow Council has announced that they are taking back control of Harlow Museum but Science Alive faces an uncertain future.

There appears to have been problems at both centres for some time. Science Alive at the Harlow Leisureszone and Harlow Museum on Muskham Road have both been closed since well before Christmas.

Both had gone under considerable transformation over the last eighteen months under the management of Sharon Davies, whose vision had been praised by both Harlow MP Robert Halfon and the chair of Harlow Council, cllr Maggie Hulcoop.

In November, Raytheon UK donated £15,000 and a flight simulator to Science Alive to ensure that the centre can offer young people opportunities in Harlow, and to encourage their involvement in STEM subjects.

The museum had become a hive of activity from cycle exhibitions, events in the gardens to special newspaper days.

YH understands that discussions on the future of both organisations had been tense.

YH understands that the decision to make staff redundant was made by the trustees of Science Alive. The number of people affected is not known but there could be five or six paid staff and then a whole host of volunteers.

Councillor Mark Ingall, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “Following ongoing discussions between the Council and Harlow ScienceAlive, the museum service has been handed back to the Council to run directly. This decision has not been arrived at lightly, it is the result of discussions over several months between the Council and ScienceAlive, but it is the right decision which has been taken in the interest of the continuation of the museum service. We would like to place on record our thanks to ScienceAlive for running the museum since 2013.

“We are working on plans to get the Museum reopened to the public next week (w/c 21 January 2019) and we will continue to run the museum while we look at a long-term solution for managing and improving the service. We look forward to working closely with Museum volunteers and user groups over the coming months as we seek to secure the future of this important Harlow facility.

“Entry to the museum will continue to be free. Museums play a vital role in helping people of all ages learn about the area they live and our museum tells a fantastic story of Harlow’s past to the present day. We are fully committed to ensuring the museum service will continue and that is why we must find a long-term solution for its management.”

More information about the service and the full opening times will be published in the coming days.

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