Museums in the UK: 2017 Report

From the Museums Association:

Almost a quarter (24%) of museums in the UK experienced a decrease in public funding in 2015-16 with the devolved nations being the hardest hit, according to research conducted by the Museums Association (MA).

The report Museums in the UK: 2017 showed that 64% of museums in Wales reported a cut to public income (all revenue funding from sources such as government, local authority or higher education institution), compared to 50% in Scotland, 43% in Northern Ireland and 21% in England.

Within England, London and the North East experienced the greatest drops in public income, with 30% of museums in each of those regions experiencing a cut.

In addition, data from the Department for Communities and Local Government shows that from 2010 to 2016 local authorities in England have cut spending on museums and galleries by 31% in real-terms.

Although a similarly detailed breakdown was not available for local government spending in the devolved nations, figures show that, over the same period, local authority revenue spending on culture, heritage, libraries and leisure services in Wales fell by 26% in real terms, while funding for cultural and related services among Scottish local authorities decreased by 4.6% in real terms (equivalent data for Northern Ireland was not available).

The MA’s report comes ahead of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Museums Review, which is expected to set out recommendations for the future sustainability of the museums in England. But the MA is concerned that the review, due to be published this spring, will stop short of addressing the critical issue of funding.


Museums in the UK: 2017


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