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Conservation centre set to close

14 April 09 14:19 GMT

A number of textile specialists are to be made redundant when a conservation centre shuts amid a funding crisis.

Winchester School of Art's Textile Conservation Centre (TCC) in Hampshire, which is part of the University of Southampton, will shut on 31 October.

Earlier, the university told the BBC it could no longer "cross-subsidise" it.

The centre's foundation hoped some of the work would be transferred to Oxford University but said that was "not feasible".

Martin Tod, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Winchester, said: "This isn't just a loss for Winchester, it's a loss for the whole country. There will be knock-on consequences for all our museums and heritage and the tourism and arts that rely on them."

The TCC, founded in 1975 by Karen Finch OBE, was originally based at Hampton Court Palace for nearly 25 years, before merging with the university in 1998.

A year later it relocated to a building on the university's campus in Winchester.

A rare 18th Century red Jolly Roger pirate flag was restored to its former glory at the centre, while other items worked on included a pair of trousers belonging to Queen singer Freddie Mercury.

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