Painting a picture of future museum funding options
In late 2015, the Chancellor announced cuts to government funding of museums. In response, BuroHappold Engineering is researching the future funding of museums, examining topics such as the public’s response to the cuts, various options for the use of museum space (exhibition vs shop/restaurant) through to visitor preference (fixed fee or donation upon entry).
Written by: Frances Critchlow, Head of Integrated Marketing
Early results suggest that 63% of people surveyed understand the need for the government to prioritise spending but at the same time feel that free access to museums ought to be protected.
When choosing between giving a donation on entry, paying a fixed entrance fee per visit or joining an annual membership scheme with a single annual fee, over half the respondents (53%) said that would prefer to give a donation upon entry.
We have suggested, in the survey, that one response to this situation might be that museums move their artefact storage facilities in order to make room for more retail areas – such as restaurants and shops within the museum site. We’ve asked survey participants if knowing that museums are hoping that they will spend more money during their visit (through additional visitor expenditure in retail areas), would make them less likely to visit museums?
The results are close:
- Half of the respondents state that they would still visit museums, but they wouldn’t spend more in retail areas.
- 40% state that they would still visit museums and that they would happy to spend more in retail areas.
- Only 10% state that they would be less likely to visit museums as they felt like museums were just trying to get more money out of each visitor.