Historic Edinburgh museum set to close

An Edinburgh museum which holds Scotland's oldest banknote is set to close.

Saturday, 14th October 2017, 4:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 6:48 am
The "museum on the mound"
The "museum on the mound"

Despite being visited by more than 50,000 people a year, the popular Museum on the Mound is being shut by Lloyds Bank.

The museum, which is free, is known for its exhibition of £1 million, Scotland’s oldest banknote.

It was opened 11 years ago by Ian Rankin and sits in the historic old Bank of Scotland head office.

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The closure decision has dismayed supporters.

Speaking to a national newspaper, councillor Alex Staniforth, the Greens’ culture spokesman, said: “It would be a real shame to lose the museum, which is a valuable educational resource for local schools, as well as a visitor attraction, because Bank of Scotland wants to save a bit of money.

“The public purse was very generous to the banks following the crash of 2008 and to respond by stripping a cultural venue from the heart of the city is a very cold way of repaying that support.”

Joanne Orr, the chief executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “We regret to hear of the closing of any museum and the closure of the Museum on The Mound will be a loss to Edinburgh’s tourist offering.

“We hope that Lloyds Banking Group will continue their commitment in some capacity to the museum’s education and outreach programmes, which many school children and young people have benefited from.”

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesman said: “The group has made the difficult decision to close the Museum on the Mound by the end of the year.

“Over the last 11 years, the museum has been one of the ways that we have informed the public about the history of money and its role in society.

“The group remains committed to helping young people throughout Scotland understand financial management through our current flagship financial education and inclusion programmes.

“We will continue to work with our own archive service and other accredited institutions to ensure the artefacts are preserved.” The last day that the museum will be open is Friday, 29 December.

A spokesman said that there will be a “small reduction in roles” as a result of the closure, and staff had already been informed of the museum’s closure.

The spokesman noted: “The Edinburgh site will continue to be open to the public by an appointment service. Materials on loan to us will be returned to the lending institutions.”