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What does 2013 bring for museums?

December 29, 2012

2012 appears to have ended on a gloomy note with the ongoing concerns about the UK economic climate and public sector cuts. So with all this in mind, what will 2013 bring to the heritage sector?

Although the public sector cuts will continue to bite, for some there will be opportunities. I predict more announcments of cuts for museums, especially local government funded organisations. The announcements in Newcastle will be copied elsewhere in the country. The cuts will largely take place in poorer and metropolitan authorities who will be unable to resist the pressure of cutting their discretionary services, such as museums and grants to cultural bodies.

The push to find philanthropic funds will not cover the shortfall that the Coalition hopes. Public and corporate funding will fall or stay low and concentrate on high profile recipients.

On the positive side, I predict that those organisations willing to seek capital grants will be pleasantly surprised with sucessful bids, as long as they are well worked out and attractive to funders. More dynamic museums will be able to harness volunteer support by introducing more professional ways of recruiting and keeping their volunteers.

In short if you are smaller independent museum in a wealthier part of the country it could be a good 2013, but for medium or larger organisations which receive significant public funding and are based in less affluent areas, times maybe tough!

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