Leeds & West Yorkshire

Visitors to Royal Armoury fall by more than a third

Visitors to the Royal Armouries in Leeds have fallen by nearly 40%, figures obtained by the BBC have revealed.

Between April and June 2011, 50,313 people visited the attraction, compared to 81,817 in the same period in 2010.

Funding cuts amounting to £4.4m over four years have led to the closure of 16 posts at the free museum.

The museum opened in 1996 and is home to the United Kingdom's national collection of arms and armour.

Development director of the museum, Peter Armstrong, said lower funding had affected the level of education.

"When we changed the education [system], unfortunately those education staff chose to take voluntary redundancy, that meant we couldn't provide the schools [with] the quality of education we'd like to have given and we lost around 10,000 schoolchildren.

"However, we restart the education in September and we'll be accepting those visitors again."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced funding cuts as part of the government's spending review, which saw its core budget cut from £1.9bn to £1.1bn over the next four years.

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