Task 1: The Direct and Indirect Benefit of Museums in UK Economy
Museums are seen a bastion of knowledge of our past, hence need to maintain level of relevance to the general public. It can then be either state funded or self-funded. Museums deliver world-class public services which proposition individuals and families free and inspiring places to visit and things to do, thus attracting audiences from home and abroad. The museums in London are very good example of doing these public services.
The love for museums by tourists are profound due to the crucial role it plays in the success of tourism in Britain, with its attractions directed to both local and foreign visitors. The uniqueness, and success, of British museums are hinged on its ability to showcase the best of both British history as well as that of the world from cultural heritage to science and nature. However vital, most museums depend on public funding, but are still able to generate income on its own, through entrance fees and private investments and donations, for their funding. It is then right to say that the mixed economic model adopted by most museums has helped them to draw finances from all the sectors of the economy. Thus, expanding its direct and indirect impact effect to the economy.
According to British Museums Association (2017) annual report for 2016, the creative and cultural industries has impacted the economy in the following ways:
• The UK has the largest cultural economy in the world relative to GDP. The UK has the largest creative sector in the EU, and comparative to GDP, possibly the largest in the world
• In 2007, the museums industries accounted for 7.3% of the economy (equivalent in size to the financial services industry)
• Museums in the UK accounted for £59.9bn or 6.2% of UK Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2007
• It accounts for £16.6 billion in exports and nearly 2 million jobs.
• The museums sector industries grew by an average of 5% per annum between 1997 and 2007. This compares to an average of 3% for the whole of the economy over this period
• The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) predicts that, with government support, the cultural industries can achieve a 9% annual growth rate by 2013. This would boost GVA to £85 billion and create 185,000 jobs
• HSBC commissioned Martin Raymond to look at the ‘Future of UK Business' (2009). 500 entrepreneurs and business decision-makers were asked what should UK business be about? World-class museums industries were the top choice of 56.5%. (museumsassociation.org, 2017).
Nevertheless, museums are vulnerable, like other sectors of the economy, from the effects of economic recession, but are still bringing impressive economic benefits due to increased tourism in the UK and an ever-growing public appetite for culture and history. Though there has been cuts from public funding for museums which has inevitably has made some museums to charge fees for some of its events. But with its free entry policy to some of their displays, museums in Britain where able to attract well over 30 million visitors, according to BBC report of august 21th 2010, while contributing a whopping one billion pounds to the economy in 2009, quoting the national tourist authority (BBC 2010).
In a report written by John Travers (2006) for the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, the economic impact museums have on the economy, both and indirect impacts, is immense. As stated above the art industry contributed aversely to the economy. Major museums in Britain play key roles in cultural and heritage awareness. With their attraction of well over 42 million visitors from all over the world, with these increases comes bigger responsibility, and demands, as both public and private sectors demand accountability from them, museums are a vital and recognised component in the British cultural economy. With its vast potential, museums in Britain has the capacity to be the best in the world with its ability to create a massive economic impact with the ability to generate more than £1.5 billion annually, nationwide. The yearly turnover and contribution of top museums in British economy amounted to £900 million, thus accounting for every £1,000 that comes into the economy £1 came from the museums industry. Numerous research has established the diverse influences these institutions have on local, regional and national economies. Initial studies measured the fiscal impact of cultural institutions. The development of ‘economic regeneration' strategies, mainly in larger cities like London and Manchester, led to studies of the impacts of museums, galleries on post-industrial inner-city economies contributions. Such research measured both direct and indirect economic indicators, with the latter set of procedures intended to test the effect of museums establishments on societal consistency (Travers, 2006).
The museums establishment across the country are all playing a pivotal role in our civil society both local, national and international, thus providing a bridge, on the one side, history and grant and, on the other, the future, ingenuity, vocation and societal consistency. This have made museums and galleries to extend all the events they organise and partake in, to other stake holders, universities, as well as encompassing admittance to schools and increasing the numbers of visits by young people.
Museums play double roles in our modern society in that it both preserve and creating accessibility to our pasts, have always been in a certain degree of tension; thus, they have to store materials in climatic control environments, and may allow little or no access to the artefact; though full admittance to artefacts could, in most cases, lead to deterioration. The pressure to avoid deterioration, echoes the two sequential directions being faced museum. One of these is preserving for the future generations, for which the material should be preserved. The other direction is aimed at present-day generation, which ought to be stimulated to use the material and the knowledge confined inside each material it for both edification and satisfaction.
Culturally, the museums play in preserving cultures are not yet clear cut in that museums are yet to know exactly what the true degree of impacts it have on cultures, the question still remains to be answered on what the impacts are, level of attainment it will go, who will benefit and how. It has been found that museums are fraught with talk around value to the culture. It is no good trying to relate all the value of arts and culture to monetary valuations, and equally unhelpful to try to justify the arts as some kind of special case, different from all others pending priorities and subject to unique criteria (Leicester & Sharpe, 2010).
Task 2a: Overview of some Complimentary Museums in London
Task 2b: Overview of Natural History Museum
Having visited the Natural History Museums, and Royal Maritime Museum, it is imperative that to note both museums cater for different historical past of our life, though the business building block both are adapting are similar in scope. With its historical and popularity in the world the Natural History Museum (NHM) has a continuous programme of bringing all its collections into today's digital presence. Its scientists are exploring the solar system, Earth's geology and life, on earth, with diverse techniques, by applying exceptional combination of their expertise, collections and cutting-edge techniques.
According Natural History Museum 2017, the focus of this paper, was founded in 1871, as British Museum (Natural History) and took its present name 1992, and is located in Brompton London. Though the doors for the Museum was opened in 1881, its operational history dates back to 1753 when Sir Hans Sloane collection was first displayed. The museum is a legacy of Sir Hans Sloane. He had a passion for gathering anything that bears or have a trace of natural historical values or is seen as having cultural values. His collections were so extensive and extinctive that after his death in 1753, and in accordance with his Will, the government purchased most of his collections, totalling 71,00, for less than the face value, and then built the British Museum so these items could be displayed to the public.
But the current building was constructed years later to meet the vast and ever expanding arrays of artefacts. With collections running into millions – covering zoology, palaeontology, mineralogy, entomology, and botany. Including original collection made by Charles Darwin, and those of Joseph Banks, who accompanied James Cook around the world.
The Museum is one of the highly-admired tourist lures in London with an of more than 5 million visitors a year. With most of funding coming from government grant-in-aid, the museums are looking for other means of generating more income to be able to sustain and develop more of its displays; this require that some innovative ideas. To achieve this the Natural History Museum has gone into:
• Hall hiring for conferencing, wedding etc.
• Cultural consultancy covers consultation from science to estate management and training development all based on its leading role scientific expertise, arts collections and impressive facilities maintenance.
• Publishing it has some writers who are averse in most of its collection who are able to write books about its work and discovery as well as its collections.
• Filming: its facilities are hired out to film makers and some of its staff at hand to assist.
• Touring exhibition: NHM has a programme of hiring and taking some of its collections on tours around the country and the world.
• Training and development, in accordance with its business plans the Museum run a training programme targeted at businesses employees' improvement, hence contributing to organisation knowledge development. Each programme is designed specifically for each business needs.
• Corporate partnership: this idea is solely design for businesses that are environmentally aware based on their clientele commitment to a sustain earth, which they believe will give any organisation a global recognition. The NHM believes that the benefit of partnership would be of immense to businesses in the following:
o special assistances tailored to fit each business ideas
o accelerate right of entry to some of its award-winning exhibitions
o on the-scenes visits of its collected works
o motivate business staffs with distinct trainings and family events
o hire some of its finest halls for corporate activity
o associate partnership company with its pioneering science
o be a patron to some its exhibitions and research (Nhm.ac.uk, 2017).
Human fascination with the natural world is unequal in scope, some of the critical issues facing our society surrounds people's ability to interact with their natural world – this what Natural History Museum is uniquely positioned to achieved.
The museum caters for customers from varied marketing groups. And have kept its doors open, ever since it started operation, and attracts more than 5 million people annually. The museum is well placed to engage its audience regarding its ability to meet the ever-increasing needs of our digital age. This museum resolves to question the traditional way the society reflect about our natural world - its past, present and future. Thus, it intends to invigorate open discussion concerning the future of our civilisation, and prepare everyone alike to appreciate of science.
Most of the museum's funding comes from government aid, renting out some of its structures for events like weddings, filming and conferences, fund raising events, and other charitable donations, including the National Lottery. Though it charges fees on some important displays this is still not enough to meet its financial obligations and needs; but it has taken initiatives at being more robust (Maclean, 2005).
The Museum tend to make use of its exceptional collections, proficiency and community outreach programmes to involve the public through its three significant chronicles that together reinforce the awareness of the natural world and our place in it: The museum has three focal point:
• Origins and evolution: the 4.5-billion-year history of our solar system, the Earth and life
• Diversity of life: today's natural diversity among species, habitats and ecosystems
• Sustainable futures: the future of the natural systems that our society depends on.
These focal points are aimed at enlightening people of all work of life on the types of life and ecosystem of our world, and how it is being impacted based our current industrialization and green house emission rate.
As the Natural History Museums works on its three focal points, it is also strategizing for the future; and has identified 4 key points that it believes will still make it relevance in the years to come. This is due to the change in attitude of younger generations towards museums and other historical places across the country.
• Digital: by means of technology to design modernistic, ground breaking ways for people to interrelate with any of its collections
• National: establishing a system of networks all over the UK to encourage science in schools and involve society with programmes like citizen science and Real World Science.
• International: fostering worldwide partnership to aid in tackling main scientific challenges facing the world and form innovative commercial opportunities.
• London: developing the Museum's estates and gallerias to improve tourists' experience and understanding of what they are seeing (Nhm.ac.uk, 2017).
In its drive to achieve this innovative plan the Museum has come up with what it called Strategy 2020. This, building on the core business statement, is aimed how the museum aims to strive for the next 5 years which will act as the foundation for the long-time business development plans. These strive is aimed at digitalising most of its collections, aiming at an outreach programme as well as putting more exhibition to attract more visitors. With this is the prospect of a new ventures, it calls The Earth and Planetary Science Centre. This new centre will be at the forefront of collection of specimen, research, learning and engaging on diverse topics about the earth and the planetary system; and to harmonize with its other assets like the world-famous Darwin Centre.
In doing this the Museum has proposed the development of a strong business design aimed at increasing and modifying its resourcefulness in generating income; this would involve commercial activities, philanthropy, sponsorship and externally-funded awards. This will necessitate private sector investing on some of its marketable undertakings and in its ability to engage with sponsors, supporters and volunteers.
Multiplier effects as a business theory, and is effected by laws of demand and supply and other government policies can be ascribed to the museums market, states that any money spent by a visitor has a continuous circulation through local economy and around the country; thus, visitors' spending is not only in support of museum (direct effect) but also help the overall industries of the country (indirect effect). As the money collect from visitors can tickle down to other purchases miles away. Multiplier effect is dependent on the links between various sectors that makes the museum industry and the diverse activities each plays within the industry (Raina and Agarwal, 2004).
...(download the rest of the essay above)