Vagina Museum needs ‘substantial cash injection’ to avoid closure

Charity

Ten jobs are at risk after the Vagina Museum announced it will close within weeks unless it raises enough money to secure a new venue.

The charity, which has been without a permanent home since January, said it needs a “substantial cash injection” to avoid shutting next month.

The museum has found potential new premises in east London but needs to raise more than £40,000 by early June to guarantee its financial future, according to a statement.

A spokesperson said the museum employs two full-time members of staff and eight part-time duty managers.

The Vagina Museum has been left homeless twice in the last two years, first when it lost its venue in Camden Green and then when guardianship arrangements on a property in Bethnal Green ended at the start of this year.

In April it thanked other charities for their practical support while the museum was between homes.

The Vagina Museum has raised £42,000 since January to support its search for a new site and says it has identified a potential six-year lease on a suitable building.

But organisers say it needs another £43,000 to secure its long-term financial sustainability ahead of the move.

The museum’s income in the year to the end of June 2022 was £117,000 and it spent £121,000, according to its latest accounts. Income and expenditure both fell about 20 per cent compared with 2020/21, which the accounts say reflects the absence of retail trading while the charity had no physical base.

The accounts say the museum combines its reserves with savings held by another company, the Vertical Smile Project, which in total make up £50,000.

Florence Schechter, director of the Vagina Museum, described the next few weeks as “crunch time” to make sure the charity does not “disappear from this world”.

Schechter said: “Our financial modelling for our new home indicates that we will be in a secure, self-sustaining position, but in order to get to that point we urgently need a substantial cash injection. We have every faith that we will meet our fundraising goal within this timeframe. 

“Things have been touch-and-go for an emerging museum in a pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis and we have so far risen to every challenge we have faced. 

“We have a strong community at our side with a huge interest in seeing this project succeed.” 

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