UK museums pay off
Geraldine Kendall, England’s museums generate £3 for every £1 of public funding, Museums Journal (Museums Association UK), 9 March 2015
Report reveals sector’s billion-pound economic impact.
Museums in England generate £2.64bn of income a year and employ almost 40,000 people, according to a report published last week by Arts Council England (ACE).
Drawing on evidence from three financial years, 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2012-13, the Economic Impact of Museums in England report estimated that the nation’s 2,720 museums generate an average of £3 of income for every £1 of public sector funding invested in the sector.
The income figures include earned income from activities such as research, learning, retail and venue hire, as well as income from investments and donations.
Meanwhile, the total output – the value of goods and services produced by museums – is £1.45bn, according to the report, meaning that for every £1 of public sector grant received, the museum sector generates an estimated £2.20 of direct economic output.
Breaking the figures down by museum type, the report found that museums funded directly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) generate 36% of the total output, independent museums generate 25%, and local authority museums generate 11%. The report also assessed the indirect economic impact of museums, looking at areas including their procurement of goods and services; visitor spend within the local economy; regeneration and place-making; and engagement with business and business support.