Annual Museum Survey for 2021 Shows impact of COVID Pandemic

The Annual Museum Survey 2021 national report is now out and this reveals the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on 765 museums across England, from their audiences and finances, to their workforce. It highlights the significant differences in how this impact has been felt across the sector, depending on key factors such as a museum’s region, or whether it is based in an urban or rural setting.

Operating since 2018, the purpose of the Annual Museum Survey is to gather evidence to help demonstrate the social and economic importance of non-national Accredited Museums. The data, which is focused on core operational reporting around audiences, finances, and workforce, can be used alongside data sets of other museums, such as national museums, to gain an understanding of the whole sector.

The 2021 Annual Museum Survey has been able to show the depth of the impact of the pandemic and the pressures it has placed on the museum sector’s paid and volunteer workforce. 33% of the 765 museums surveyed in England did not open at all during 2020-21, with a loss of 88% of visitors during this period, and a drop of 74% in volunteer hours. Two thirds of the museums surveyed reported a drop in income.

The Annual Museum Survey is carried out by South West Museum Development on behalf of all nine Museum Development programmes in England and Arts Council England. Read the full report here:

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