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Science Museum Group

Volume 564: debated on Thursday 20 June 2013

14. What assessment she has made of the potential effect on the Science Museum Group of further budget reductions. (160618)

The Department receives evidence from sponsored bodies as part of the spending review. The Science Museum Group has projected an operating deficit from 2014 and it is assessing a range of options to address this. As I said earlier, the national museums will see a resource grant funding reduction of only 5% in 2015-16 and a great deal of new freedoms.

I congratulate the Minister and the Secretary of State on securing a great deal from the Treasury to secure the future of museums in Manchester, Bradford and York. Does the Minister agree with me that, rather than consider charging an entry fee, the Science Museum Group should be looking at other ways of generating additional revenue from its visitors, not least as 5 million people have visited the four museums in the last 12 months?

Yes I do. It is this Government’s policy to maintain free admission to our national museums’ permanent collections, but museums can, of course, raise revenue in other ways. People who visit them using the free entry spend money while they are there. We have also, of course, made great strides in helping to increase philanthropy.