AIM has just launched a sector wide survey which is the first part of vital research into the impact of charging for admissions on museums and heritage sites. Organisations across the UK are invited to take part now, to ensure that this ground-breaking research reflects the whole sector. The findings, case studies and resulting guidance will be announced at AIM’s national conference in June and published in the summer.
The research programme, led by DC Research and commissioned in partnership with Arts Council England (ACE) and the Museums Archives and Libraries Division (MALD), involves assessing the role of charging – or not charging – for visitor admissions, and comes at an extremely opportune time for many museums that are currently considering their future charging policy in light of reductions in other forms of funding.
All UK museums, heritage sites and galleries that charge – or don’t charge – admissions are encouraged to complete the survey which closes on 14 April 2016. The survey is available in English and Welsh. Please contribute to this survey and also consider sharing this information with other organisations, as the results will help to generate responses from across the whole heritage sector.
How does charging – or not charging – admissions impact on your museum?
“Whether to charge for admission to a museum, and if so, what pricing strategy to use, is a key decision which needs careful consideration. Some people have strong views on the subject but those wanting to make an evidence-based decision about what is right for their museum have very little information to draw on at the moment,” said Tamalie Newbery, Executive Director of AIM.
“AIM has commissioned this research to help each museum find the right policy for its circumstances. The findings of this research will be used to develop useful, free guidance for UK museums both to support their decision-making process and to assess how a change might affect them in the future.”
As part of the research programme, DC Research will also investigate:
*The range of pricing policies used by museums
*The relationship between admission charging policy and the number or diversity of visitors
*The impact of admissions charging on visitor spend
*The impact on community relations or museum reputation
*The impact of moves from charging to free admission or from free to charging
*The impact of significant changes in pricing strategy such as moving to an annual pass or introducing free entry for children
The research will also include a review of existing research and data, stakeholder interviews and detailed case studies from a number of museums that have made significant changes to their pricing policy. Any museums which would like to be considered as a case study should contact Stephen Connolly at DC Research Stephen@dcresearch.co.uk