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Museums and Galleries

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what progress has been made towards his Department's public service agreement target to increase significantly the number of people from priority groups accessing museums and galleries collections; and if he will make a statement; (187352)

(2) how many people aged 16 years and above (a) from black and minority ethnic groups, (b) with a limiting disability, (c) from lower socio-economic groups and (d) in total attended museums and galleries collections in each year for which figures are available.

The DCMS ‘Taking Part’ survey is being used to measure progress against this public service agreement.

The most recent results were published in December 2007 in the following table. They provide a comparison between the baseline figures and the second-year results of the survey. The statistics show no significant change from year one to year two.

We are working closely with the cultural sector's strategic delivery bodies—Arts Council England, English Heritage and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council—to ensure that we maximise our impact on increasing participation rates.

These bodies deliver through a range of programmes and initiatives with cultural organisations at regional and local level. This includes investment in programmes such as Renaissance in the Regions, which has seen visits to local museums and galleries by people from the PSA3 priority groups up by over 30 per cent. since 2002-03; free admission to formerly charging sponsored museums in England, where attendance has gone up by 98 per cent. since 2001; record investment in Arts Council England's regularly funded organisations of £326 million this year; and Heritage Open Days, which receives its core funding from English Heritage, where 850,000 people visited some of 3,500 buildings last year, making it England's largest voluntary cultural event.

The museums and galleries indicator is defined as at least one attendance at a museum or gallery during the past 12 months.

Percentage

Year 1

Year 2

Black and minority ethnic

35.5

33.6

Limiting disability

32.1

31.1

Lower socio-economic

28.3

28.2

All adults

42.3

41.5