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Museums Contribute £53m To Local Economy

THE figures, revealed as part of the launch of the organisation’s social and economic impact report, demonstrate National Museums Liverpool’s contribution to the local visitor economy and the role it plays socially across the wider North West region.

While a number of national museums have reported drops in their visitor figures, National Museums Liverpool has quadrupled its visitor numbers by 360% since 2000. Last year saw an 11% increase, as 3 million people passed through the doors of the group’s eight museums and galleries.

Liverpool is currently the fifth most visited city in the UK and last year, 1.5 million people made visits to National Museums Liverpool’s museums and galleries from outside the City Region, with 400,000 of these visitors coming from overseas.

The report also revealed that the organisation contributes more than 1,200 jobs locally, and supported the local economy further in 2015/16 by spending £5m on suppliers in the North West and £2m in the Liverpool City Region.

Dr David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool, said: “The report is titled Making a Difference, and while National Museums Liverpool is widely recognised as making a huge difference socially, its economic successes are often overlooked.

“We are the largest cultural organisation in the North West and operate on a national and international level, and this report does a great job at highlighting exactly how much we contribute to the local economy and wider region.”

In 2015/16, more than a third of visitors came from within the Liverpool City Region, and 67% of local visitors made repeat visits. The report also highlighted that 77% more schoolchildren are visiting Liverpool’s museums and galleries than in 2004, and the 163,000 that visited in 2015/16, came from 75% of all Liverpool City Region schools.

David Fleming continued: “At a time when other national museums are reporting drops in visitor figures and a decline in educational visits, it’s very heartening to see that we’re moving in a more positive direction here in Liverpool; not only are young people still visiting to learn and be inspired by our collections, exhibitions and activity programmes, but people from all over the world are continuing to come to the city to experience what we have to offer.

“We can learn a lot from forging international links and partnerships, and we have joined forces with many organisations locally, nationally and internationally to learn from each other, campaign for social justice and use the power of museums to change people’s lives.”

Estimates are that the boost National Museums Liverpool delivers to its local audience’s wellbeing could be worth £130m per year. Recent national research also highlights the important role that museums can play in supporting people’s happiness and mental wellbeing.

National Museums Liverpool has taken major steps to achieve better health and social inclusion for those living with both physical and mental disability. One of its most significant social impacts is the House of Memories dementia awareness programme, training more than 11,000 people to date. The ambition to make House of Memories services available in every care setting across the UK is beginning to be realised with a national roll out.

Sir David Henshaw, Chair of National Museums Liverpool, said: “The Making a Difference report highlights some crucial facts that demonstrate the very real economic and social benefits of cultural activity. At a time of diminishing public funding, it’s vital that these benefits are spelled out clearly and that we fly the flag for Liverpool arts and culture to show we are up there with the best in the UK and internationally.”

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