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HMS Belfast and Imperial War Museum jobs privatised

Conservation officers take down the Spitfire that hung from the roof at IWM London, ahead of the museum's ongoing refurbishment. Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images Conservation officers take down the Spitfire that hung from the roof at IWM London, ahead of the museum's ongoing refurbishment. Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
3:44 PM

A private provider has won the right to run visitor and security services at London’s Imperial War Museum, HMS Belfast and the Churchill War Rooms.

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More than 100 staff at the museums, and other Imperial War Museums in Manchester and Cambridgeshire, will be affected – though staff employment conditions protected by employment regulations.

A statement from the successful bidder for the contract, the Shield Group, said: “This decision was based on ensuring that our long-term quality needs can be satisfied by a provider who delivers optimum value for money and also excellent career opportunities for staff.”

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said: “As the eyes of the world look to the Imperial War Museum to mark the centenary of the First World War, it is taking a major gamble with its reputation.

“We believe that gifting this work to a profit-making company will lead to jobs and standards being cut, and risks a knowledge drain from these highly-prized visitor attractions.”

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