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NATIONAL MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES RISE BY 20%

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Child admissions to England's national museums and galleries have ...
Child admissions to England's national museums and galleries have

reached a new high - rising by more than twenty per cent - since the

government abolished admission charges. The policy, which scrapped

admission charges for children in April 1999, was hailed today as a

great success by culture secretary Tessa JoweLL.

Supporting this trend, The Natural History Museum has announced that

its Predators exhibition has been an enormous success. The exhibition

attracted nearly double the usual number of visitors on opening day;

led to an 8% increase in visitors in July; and a 28% increase in

August so far compared with the previous year.

Tessa Jowell said:

'The success of this exhibition demonstrates that there are plenty of

attractions for visitors both from home and abroad to enjoy in this

country. Predators is particularly significant because it combines

old and new technology to provide an educational and entertaining

explanation for some of the wonders of the natural world.'

Welcoming the general increase in child visitor numbers the culture

secretary said:

'These figures show that our policy to scrap charges for children to

our national cultural institutions was the right one. I am delighted

that since April 1999, more than one million additional youngsters

have visited flagship institutions like the Imperial War Museum, and

the Maritime and Science Museums.

'It is essential that all children have access to our national

museums and galleries. to learn and be inspired by the art and

heritage they contain. No child should be excluded from our national

institutions because of the price of a ticket.

'With the steps we are taking, removing charges for children and the

over 60s and the budget measures to make our national museums and

galleries free for all adults from December this year, I expect

visitor numbers to keep on growing.'

The figures show that in 1998-99, the last year for charging,

4,986,000 children visited the seventeen national museums and

galleries. This grew to 5,073,000 in 1999-2000 and to 6,059,000 in

2000-01.

Notes

1. Admission charges for children were abolished in April 1999 and

for the over 60's in April 2000.

2. In the March 2001 Budget, the chancellor announced new measures

which will allow the national museums and galleries to drop

admission charges for all adults from 1 December 2001.

3. DCMS sponsors the following museums and galleries:

British Museum; Imperial War Museum; Natural History Museum; Tate

Gallery; Victoria and Albert Museum; Museum of Science and Industry

in Manchester; National Portrait Gallery; Wallace Collection;

National Museum of Science and Industry; National Maritime Museum;

National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside; Geffrye Museum;

National Gallery; Horniman Museum; Museum of London; Sir John Soane

Museum; the Royal Armouries; the National Coal Mining Museum for

England; the Tyne and Wear Museums Service; and the 24-hour museum

DCMS also provides financial support to the Design Museum.

4. DCMS-sponsored museums and galleries are all governed by

independent boards of trustees and operate at arms length from

government. They receive substantial government funding and are

accountable, through ministers, to parliament for this funding.

5. DCMS funding (£ millions) available for all the museums and

galleries listed at 1 above is:

1997-1998 1998-1999 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04

205 203 220 229 246 268 275

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