NINE jobs are to go at a York museum in a staffing shake-up which will also see a new head of its collection of rail artefacts.

The Science Museum Group, which runs the National Railway Museum (NRM), learned last autumn it would have to save an extra and “unexpected” £787,000 over two years on top of the £3.7 million in savings it already needed to make by the end of 2015/16.

The Government funding reductions sparked fears about the York attraction’s future last year.

A review of the NRM's operation and staffing structure has led to the loss of nine roles. Nineteen staff were originally at risk but ten new positions have been created, including a head curator.

The role will pay between £40,000 and £45,000 a year and the museum said it would carry responsibility for “the world’s finest collection of rail artefacts”, including conservation, storage, interpretation and research.

Some of the new roles may be filled by NRM staff whose jobs are still at risk. The museum's director, Paul Kirkman, said discussions about the changes began at the end of last year, with the consultation now completed and the new staffing structure finalised.

Mr Kirkman said: “The changes will enable our museum to tell a bigger and broader story about the railways and engage larger audiences while contributing to the savings which need to be made across the Science Museum Group.”

“The NRM is a world-class showcase for the huge impact railways and their technology have had in the past, and will have in the future. It has a very loyal following but, to realise its full potential and attract even more visitors, it needs to appeal more strongly to a wider audience with a greater emphasis on the interpretation of our collections.”

Mr Kirkman said the NRM needed to reduce its running costs and “difficult decisions” had to be taken across the Science Museum Group.

A spokeswoman said advertising the head curator role externally as well as internally – with applications closing in mid-February – was its normal procedure and current staff were welcome to apply.

The overall new structure is expected to be in place by summer.