Are free museums history?

Are free museums history?

In a bid to better engage the nation?s culture and heritage, government sponsored museums have been free since 2001.

In a recent survey Opinium research found that 68% of UK adults visit museums or art galleries at least once a year, with 16% of 18-34 year olds likely to visit museums/art galleries at least once a month.

However, the BBC has reported that this policy costs the tax payer an estimated £350 million per year. With recent government cuts the idea to reintroduce admission fees has been suggested by some as the best way to secure the future of British museums and galleries.

Research by Opinium into the possible reintroduction of museum admission fees has found that three in ten (30%) of the UK population would support the introduction of admissions fees for museums and art galleries, while four in ten (40%) would oppose it. However, 53% of those who visit at least monthly say that they would continue to do so if admission fees were reinstated to previous levels which can be up to £9 for adults and £3 for children as was the case at the National History Museum in 2000.

Additionally, in measuring the degree of support or opposition towards admission fees, common price cutting practice in other museums and galleries is met with support. For example 64% are in favour of cheaper fees during off-peak hours, with 25% neutral and 11% against. Also, 51% are in favour of cheaper fees for UK visitors than overseas visitors.

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,001 UK adults aged 18+ from 19th to 22nd of April 2013. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.