York Art Gallery introduced charges earlier this year. (c) Kippa Matthews

Many museums “financially unviable” if 40% cuts go ahead

Patrick Steel, 21.09.2015
MA spending review submission warns of tipping point for museums
Many museums, and particularly local authority museums, will become financially unviable if budgets are cut by up to 40%, the Museums Association (MA) has warned the government.

In its submission to the Treasury before the comprehensive spending review on 25 November, the MA warns that museums would be forced to close, or would be “hollowed out” with a lack of curatorial and learning staff undermining their ability to operate effectively.

Further cuts would lead to more museums charging for entry and education visits, further financially-motivated sales from museum collections, and the loss of expertise and skills from the sector.

The MA recommends several courses of action, including funding to support partnerships between museums and other public bodies to deliver public policy goals, tax breaks for sponsorship and philanthropic giving to museums, support for entrepreneurship in museums, and use of the Community Infrastructure Levy to support culture at a local authority level.

Alistair Brown, the MA’s policy officer, says: ““The MA believes that government cuts to museum funding should be as limited as possible, and steps should be taken to protect core funding for our museums across the country.

“However, we are also interested in developing policies with government that will help to offset the effects of the cuts that are already being delivered.

“We have set out in our submission to the Treasury a range of policy interventions – from seed funding for social impact projects to the introduction of a tax break on philanthropic giving – which will help museums to continue to deliver public benefit in a period of austerity.”

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Cuts Survey 2015


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27.09.2015, 19:18
Quite - when are we all revolting ? And the Save Sekhemka Action Group has certainly taken great pains telling both the MA and the DCMS the consequences of cutting funds for museums further. There are no sensible proposals in the MA reply to the Treasury but a lot of nice PC statements to show the MA is on message; the proposal to utilise CLI fundng is almost sensible and worth pursuing but where is the clarion call to museums to WORK TOGETHER ? Nowhere ! Museums should co-operate with each other in exchaning items, advising each other on funding, run exhibitions together, run entrepreneurial schemes together, having central facilities for funding, sponsorship etc. The time for being individualistic has gone, we need to work together as well as keeping our individuality - is that impossible ? If we do not Gt Britain will end up with lots of small independent museums run by charitable trusts until they run out of volunteers, NO LA run museums because the LAs will follow the example of Northampton and our LARGE national museums. University museums are right now in a dilemma with the University of Staffordshire proposing to do a Sekhemka ! It is not good.
25.09.2015, 06:38
Alternative title: Right wing Government delighted that Museums Association can confirm the predicted effects of their efforts to date..

What time are we all revolting?!