Local authorities spend 7% less on museum services
Its report, released last week, found that the amount spent by local authorities on broader culture and related services reduced by 10% during the same time period.
Although the research highlighted that to some extent museums and galleries had been protected from spending reductions, it warned that continued austerity measures meant that it was probable they would not be in the future.
It also stated that responses to cuts in funding should be tailored to fit local circumstances, the scale of the museum service, its capabilities and requirements. It also said that an entrepreneurial culture and proactive leadership were vital to future resilience.
In conclusion, the report said that effective, proactive leadership was vital. Museums that thrive within a local authority setting tend to align their activities with the council’s priorities. The museum service must be on the front foot and take responsibility for seeking to link the museum to the broader council agenda, stated the report.
It also concluded that skills remain a barrier to change, highlighting that traditional approaches to working are not incompatible with changes to governance, management structures and the business model of the organisation. Active workforce planning is essential if museum services are to build resilience said the report.
The Museums Association is calling for museums, galleries and heritage sites to take part in its Cuts Survey.
The survey aims to
build up a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the cuts and changes
currently affecting museums. The survey closes at midnight on 6 October.