The economic impact of museums and galleries

The economic impact of museums and galleries

By Museums Association


Make a strong case for your organisation with key facts about the economic impact of museums and galleries in this handy guide.

The creative and cultural industries are booming. These sectors have undergone rapid growth and are bright prospects for future economic prosperity in the UK. They make an important contribution to the economy, comparing favourably to the financial services sector. The cultural economy of the UK is leading the way on the global stage.

Public subsidy is vital to the ongoing success of museums and galleries, and public support for this funding remains high. Public expenditure on culture is a small fraction of overall government spending, but reaps dividends. The mixed economy model adopted by most museums and galleries sees them draw on a variety of income streams, including private investment, individual giving and earned income.

With this income, museums and galleries generate vast economic benefits through areas such as jobs, tourism, inward investment and regeneration. This economic return often levers significantly higher economic benefits - putting more in than it takes out. Museums and galleries are a sound investment and well placed to help the UK recover from a recession that has profoundly changed the economic landscape.

Museums and galleries have not been immune from the impacts of the recession, but are still delivering impressive economic benefits thanks to increased tourism in the UK and an ever-growing public appetite for culture. Further financial support for museums and galleries will be needed into the future to ensure this economic growth continues apace.

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Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2013