IHBC’s ‘Research’ Signpost: Understanding the levels of public investment in museums

Research to understand the levels of public investment in museums report has been published by The Arts Council in January.

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… a particularly challenging time…

The Arts Council writes:

We are aware that financial pressures are making this a particularly challenging time for museums owned and directly maintained or supported by local authority funding. In 2023 we commissioned DC Research and Wavehill to collect the latest data and insight so the sector can have the tools they need to advocate for sustained public investment.

The research was commissioned with the aim to produce a comprehensive set of data that can support museums, local authorities and stakeholders with budget planning, and encourage a strategic and collaborative approach to considering the funding challenges facing both museums and local government.

Our creative and cultural spaces can be a catalyst for economic regeneration, improving wellbeing and instilling civic pride, and will benefit communities in the long term if they are protected and championed now.

We support every kind of museum, and every type of collection. We have directly invested £63.3 million in museums from 2022-2023, including £36.5 million through our Investment Programme and £22 million through the Museums Estates and Development Fund (MEND). Over the past year, more than £52 million of culturally significant objects have been saved for the nation to enjoy through the Acceptance in Lieu and Cultural Gifts Scheme.

Ensuring local investment in culture is vital, as we know it changes people’s lives for the better. We believe that museums and collections can inspire, empower and enrich people’s lives. We want to ensure that more people benefit from them and that museums and their impact are celebrated across the country. While we are not able to fill funding gaps, we recognise the challenging situation for local authorities and we want to work collaboratively with the sector, so we can create inspiring museums and collections that are fit for the future.

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