Museum bosses warning
Top museum directors have warned the government against any further cuts in museum funding.
The National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) says that any more cuts to the funding of museums will stop them fulfilling the government objectives in health and education.
In their report, Museums Matter, the NMDC says that a reduction in museums funding would contribute little to the overall deficit but would mean a much greater loss in terms of public value.
“If museums reduce the extent to which they curate, acquire, conserve and engage with the public, the collections and cumulative knowledge and the many positive impacts museums have will disappear,” the report states.
It also explains how museums partnership work with charities, care providers and community groups helps people with dementia and mental health problems. The NMDC also points out the impact that museums have on education.
Museums have a greater direct economic impact than they had 20 years ago with major UK museums attracting over 71 million visitors last year, stated the report.
For example, the economic value delivered by the British Library is £5 for every £1 invested, while Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums has a net economic impact on the region of £8.5m per year.
Norfolk County Council is looking at cuts of 25% in its museums services. Proposals sent to councillors suggest restructuring the county’s museum service to focus on just three sites, Norwich Castle, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, and Time and Tide in Great Yarmouth. A “basic” service would be offered at the rest of the museums in the county. The move, which would save £652,000 by 2018-19, is part of measures being considered by the council to reduce spending by £111m over the next three years.