Museum fund-raising must be more businesslike, warn MPs

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Britain's most important museums and art galleries must become more businesslike in their fundraising activities, a committee of MPs says today.

Britain's most important museums and art galleries must become more businesslike in their fundraising activities, a committee of MPs says today.

A report by the Public Accounts Committee criticises some bodies for embarking on income-generating ideas only to eventually lose money because they under-estimated the costs.

The 17 museums and galleries sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport together received state grants worth £270m in 2002-03, and generated additional income of £108m from fundraising, trading activities and admission charges.

They include institutions such as the National Gallery, the Tate, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as provincial museums like the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

The report says that, typically, museums and galleries have good information on retailing and catering, but a less clear grasp of the costs involved in other income-generating activities, particularly publishing and venue hire.

The committee's report calls on museums and galleries to draw up five-year targets for income growth and to do more to pool resources and share staff skills. They "need to be much more business-like to tap into the potential for further growth", it says.

Comments