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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Jobs 'at risk' at heritage site
Ironbridge Gorge was named a world heritage site in 1986
Jobs are under threat at a world heritage site in Shropshire after a 10% fall in visitor numbers.

Staff at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust have been asked to take voluntary redundancy but managers admits compulsory cuts may also be needed.

The summer floods, rises in petrol prices and interest rates as well as road closures near Ironbridge Gorge have been blamed for the drop.

The trust manages 35 sites in Ironbridge, 10 of which are museums.

"We've been battling against all the elements this year," said Paul Gossard, head of marketing.

Land movements

He added: "It's not been the best of years in terms of weather conditions.

"The high street in some circumstances is suffering, interest rates have gone up, petrol prices have gone up, all of which people don't necessarily associate with people's visiting trends but it has a huge impact on us."

The number of people affected by any cuts was not yet known, he said.

The Gorge became one of the first seven UK sites to be awarded World Heritage status in 1986.

Up to 3m has been spent stabilising the Gorge after a report in 2003 warned it was under threat because of land movements.

The work has led to some roads being temporarily closed to traffic.

A further 3m is to be spent on the second phase of work in the Lloyds Head area, Telford and Wrekin Council have previously said.

Temporary road for slipping gorge
09 Oct 07 |  Shropshire
Repairs to heritage site complete
31 Aug 07 |  Shropshire
Repairs to heritage site agreed
14 Jul 06 |  Shropshire
Land slip crisis threatens Ironbridge
11 Nov 03 |  Shropshire

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