Introduction to the Museums Association 2018 Report


Introduction to the Museums Association 2018 Report

This 2018 UK Museums Association report shows some key indicators of Museum’s performance, such as visitor numbers, financial results, public engagement levels, employment and volunteer figures - as well as what the hopes and fears are for the year to come.

A review of the results quickly focuses one’s mind on how there seems to be a marked split in attendance figures, with half of museums doing fine, while around a third suffered a decline. Does this figure reflect a central government / local government split where Nationals had a 9% positive response to funding level while Local Government had a 31% negative figure?

To consider Funding further - the move of local government museums to independent status within trust gives some better Museum-centric decision-making freedoms, but the transition from local authority into some other entity has not yet resulted in better funding.

Museums that are already independent look like they are improving their funding and expanding their offer to the visiting public. Are these Independent Museums predominantly within established tourist areas one wonders? The report doesn’t go down to this level of analysis unfortunately.

The six sections of the report are: Audience and Visitors, Funding Issues, Public Facing Activities, Workforce and Brexit - so everyone can choose to focus on where they want to focus, rather than get lost in a sea of general information - which means it is a compact and useful read, as has come to be expected from our friends at the Museums Association.

Read the full report :


Ian Duckworth
Associate Director of Research, Barker Langham Recruitment

Ian is experienced in Human Resources and Recruitment, where he has planned and delivered his recruiting services for clients such as the British Museum, Tate, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum, National Museums Liverpool (all UK), the Cradle of Humankind and De Beers ‘Big Hole’ (South Africa).

Ian has 15 years of public and private sector experience in global (including USA and Russia) Museums and Galleries across Nationals, Internationals, Local Authorities and Independent Trusts. His most recent projects at Barker Langham Recruitment has been providing human resources consultancy services and staff recruitment for the Strelka Institute in Moscow, Russia; recruiting a senior staff member for a new national museum in Oman; providing organisational, training, and human resources consultancy work for Shindagha Museum in Dubai, UAE; and also delivering human resources, organisational planning and human resources consulting services to Japan House in London, UK.

Ian has published global research and development work including Museums and Heritage training, competency frameworks, skills transfer and recruitment trends analysis. He holds a Diploma in European Cultural Studies from Warwick University, a Diploma in Art Gallery and Museum Studies from the University of Manchester and a BA History (Hons) from King’s College London. Ian is fluent in English and Catalan.

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