From the Guardian today:
BFI to cut 37 jobs and close gallery
British Film Institute announces cost-cutting measures alongside plans to relocate library and enhance digital strategy
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 16 December 2010 14.52 GMT
Substantial job cuts, the closure of the BFI Southbank art gallery, and the relocation of the BFI library, were among measures announced today as part of the shakeup of the British Film Institute. The body is juggling both a 15% cut in its grant over the next four years, and the prospect of absorbing the majority of duties previously performed by the recently axed UK Film Council.
The redundancies of an estimated 37 people are part of a cost-cutting drive the BFI today ascribed to the decreased government grant, “successive years of zero increases in grant-in-aid funding and rising utilities and pension costs”. The closure of the gallery, which holds exhibitions of cinema-related artwork, was said to be part of an initiative to have the BFI concentrate on services it is uniquely placed to deliver.
These measures comes alongside an enhanced digital strategy, also announced today, which aims to generate revenue and improve access to the BFI’s substantial archive. There will also be a new membership drive and the BFI library, currently housed near Tottenham Court Road, will be transferred to the main Southbank site. A digital-on-demand service is also planned, as is the appointment of a director of BFI public programmes, who will be tasked with further integration of the BFI’s theatrical, distribution, digital and print activities.
Amanda Nevill, the director of the BFI, said: “It is imperative the BFI builds on its successes and remains commercially astute in this tough new environment. We have an incredible opportunity in the months and years ahead to create something very special for film in the UK and these proposals are both bold and necessary.”
Early in the new year, the BFI will advertise to recruit new governing board members to ease the transition period for the assumption of the UK Film Council’s duties.