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Museums (Public Funding)

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what public funding is available from the Government for the improvement and modernisation of museums. (79186)

DCMS annual funding for museums in 2005-06 was £444,828,000. This was made up of two streams: £414,828,000 was provided to national museums and £30 million to the Renaissance in the Regions programme.

In addition, the Department provides funding to the DCMS/Wolfson Fund for Museums and Galleries and the Designated Challenge Fund. Both have two year funding rounds and between 2004-06 the DCMS provided £2 million to DCMS/Wolfson Fund and £3,799,991 to the Designated Challenge Fund. The Subject Specialist Networks received £248,000 for 2004-05.

Museum and Gallery statistics published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance show local authority museums, through the Local Government Financial Settlement, had a net expenditure of £177,250,000 in 2005-06.

However, the majority of this museum funding is not ring fenced for specific improvement work. Although DCMS is encouraging museums to improve their services across the board, it is for the museum itself to decide what funding is needed to sustain ongoing services and what can be spent on special improvement and modernisation.