According to a review commissioned by the British government, Great Britain should stop building new museums and start investing in its existing ones. The report recommends increased spending on infrastructure. It states that money should be spent on the preservation of historic sites, the digitization of collections, developing partnerships with local schools and institutions, and other projects.
“It is unlikely that there will be significant additional money available for the sector in the immediate future. The main thrust of our recommendations is, therefore, to ensure that we use existing funding in the best way possible,” Neil Mendoza, a non-executive board member of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, stated in the review. It also noted that money should not be used to create new museums unless the area has a “demonstrable need” for one.
While it is estimated that the government spent upwards of $1 billion on arts institution across the country last year, the majority of the funding was allocated to new museums. Among the new arts spaces currently being built are the V&A’s new venue in Dundee, Scotland. The Museums Association also found that more than forty arts organizations closed between 2005 and 2014 as a result of budgetary concerns. Mendoza told Hayley Dixon of The Telegraph that the government should now focus on funding existing museums to ensure their survival.