CAMPAIGNERS have launched a bid to persuade a bank to halt the planned closure of a historic museum.
Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Bank of Scotland, announced that the Museum on The Mound will close its doors to the public in December.
The company said that despite the “difficult decision” to close the museum, which is annually visited by more than 50,000 people, members of the public wishing to visit the site will still be able to do so by appointment.
But supporters of the museum have joined forces to set up an online petition, calling on the company to keep the “important cultural and educational site” open to the public.
The online petition has been set up by a person under the pseudonym of Malachi Malagrowther – the name Sir Walter Scott used during a campaign in 1826 against an attempt to interfere with Scotland’s paper currency.
A statement reads: “We ask Bank of Scotland to reconsider the intended closure of their Museum on The Mound in Edinburgh at the end of 2017.
“There has long been some form of museum in the Bank of Scotland building on The Mound, now the Scottish HQ of Lloyds, but until 2006, entry was by appointment only and the displays were limited to one room.
“There are seven rooms, detailing the history of ‘The Bank’, Edinburgh, and how money evolved over 4,000 years. The museum has hundreds of school groups for educational visits.”
The Edinburgh Greens have been quick to criticise the decision to shut the museum.
Cllr Alex Stanfirth, Green culture spokesman, labelled the move “an absolute disgrace”.
He 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 Museum on the Mound closing, and closing so fast, is an absolute disgrace. I sincerely hope the Bank of Scotland change their minds.”
The petition has gained the support of hundreds of people since it was set up at the weekend.
One person who signed the petition said: “The Museum on The Mound is an important cultural and educational site in the heart of Edinburgh.
“Closing it will have a detrimental effect on the city centre and on education across the city.”
Another added: “Museums make a powerful cultural statement and can host important presentations.
“The Museum on The Mound provides core information on Scottish commerce that should not be denied to the general public.”
Mark Clement is also supporting the petition.
He said: “Another small but well-loved and presented museum falls by the wayside.
“Banking might not be my favourite sector, but Edinburgh’s place as the headquarters of two banks of global significance is certainly worth recognition.”
Fay Purves said: “It’s a superb resource for the city and all the schools that visit.
“It would be a real shame to lose it.”
To support the petition, visit you.38degrees.org.uk