Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

DCMS museums & galleries visits up 5.5%

Image: © DCMS.

David Styles, Visits to DCMS-sponsored museums and galleries rise 5.5%, venues outside London up 11%, Museums + Heritage, 25 October 2019

Nearly 50 million people visited museums and galleries sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last year, with new initiatives being credited for the rise in children and overseas visitors to such institutions.

New government figures have revealed that the highest number of people have visited DCMS-sponsored museums and galleries since records began more than 15 years ago.

Visitor numbers at the 15 museums and galleries to receive DCMS backing saw a year-on-year 5.5% increase in 2018/19, taking the total to almost 50 million. Around half of all visitors were from overseas and 8.5 million were children.

Arts minister Helen Whately said: “It’s fantastic to see the huge rise in the number of visits by children and young people – showing that our museums and galleries are doing a great job attracting new audiences and reaching a new generation.”

DCMS-sponsored museums make up seven of the top ten most popular free visitor attractions in the UK. British Museum, Tate Modern, Natural History Museum and the V&A are also in the top ten most popular art museums globally for 2018.

Provincial positivity

Museums and galleries outside London were the biggest winners throughout the fruitful year, with the newly-published figures revealing an 11% leap in visitor numbers compared to 2017/18.

National Museums Liverpool’s China’s first Emperor and The Terracotta Warriors and the Double Fantasy: John and Yoko exhibitions are referenced as a specific example of driving footfall away from the capital. The museum saw a 20% increase in visitor numbers, taking its statistics over 4 million.

Natural History Museum’s Life in the Dark exhibition and ‘Kids Go Free’ campaign are cited as having contributed heavily to the rise in children visiting museums and galleries.

Website visits were also up 8% for 2018/19. A combined 123 million unique website visits were amassed by the sites of DCMS-sponsored institutions.

Sir Ian Blatchford, chairman of the National Museum Directors’ Council referenced the “strong and consistent growth in visits to museums,” before adding, “today’s announcement shows not only the important part museums play in encouraging tourism, but also their vibrant, vital role at the heart of our communities.”

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2022
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.