Austerity kills the last steam-powered loom in the world

Lancashire Council is shutting down five of its museums, including Burnley's Queen Street Mill Museum, widely known for its appearances in the King's Speech, home to the last steam-powered mill in the world.

The museums are part of a cost-slashing project precipitated by massive cuts to subsidies from the UK government to cities and towns; these cuts were undertaken in concert with cuts in the tax rate for corporations and the wealthiest people in the UK.

On the plus side, if you're a Russian oligarch looking for a steam-powered loom to put in your mansion's subterranean catacombs, there's likely to be one on the market very soon.

Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: "Closing museums is the last thing we want to do but the scale of the county council's financial challenge means we have to take these difficult decisions in order to safeguard services for the most vulnerable people in our communities."

Lancashire museum used in King's Speech to close