NATIONAL Museums Liverpool may have to lay off staff and charge entrance fees for special exhibitions to meet £3m funding cuts it was revealed today.
Almost 150 of the organisation’s 588 staff are under threat as it battles to find the savings over the next two years.
Some individual galleries at NML’s eight sites could also be closed and entrance fees charged for special exhibitions in a bid to balance the books.
NML is currently inviting employees to apply for voluntary redundancy, with the closing date for applications next Monday.
But a spokesman admitted that at this stage compulsory redundancies could not be ruled out.
The news comes in the wake of the organisation’s most successful year to date with more than three million visitors to its Merseyside attractions during 2011.
Director Dr David Fleming said: "Our museums have just had their most successful year ever. But like everyone else in the public sector we’ve been hit by severe funding cuts.
"Fifteen months ago we had to close the National Conservation Centre to visitors and over the past year we’ve lost 34 jobs through voluntary severance and early retirement.
"The funding situation is very bad and it’s getting worse. It’s not possible to make the required savings without taking action that will have a significant impact on our visitors and staff. We’ll continue to look at alternatives but job losses are unavoidable.
"We will try to keep our museums open to the public. But it’s with immense regret that we’re considering closure of display galleries, fewer exhibitions and admission charges for special exhibitions and events."