Studies of the economic impact of science centres and museums

Museums the key to Britain’s successful ‘creative economy’

A new report (4.6 MB, pdf) by Tony Travers of the London School of Economics, has found that museums and galleries in Britain are “...fulfilling their original [intended] functions, while also acting as institutions of learning, mass tourist attractions and civic partners.”

The report, “Museums and Galleries in Britain: Economic, Social and Creative Impacts”, outlines the economic impacts, civic functions and the contributions of museums and galleries to the creativity and educational performance of Britain.

While it does outline the many positive aspects of these British institutions, the report also points out the potentially negative and limiting factors that threaten their positive contribution.

These factors could parallel situations found in institutions in other regions; and provide a timely reminder about the importance of ensuring ongoing commitment and support for the science centre and museum sector, and the benefits they bring to the community.

Assessing the Economic Impact of Science Centers and Museums on Their Local Communities. Ilze Groves (2005)

Following Garnett’s study, the same group of 13 science centres, with a contribution from ASTC as well, funded this second phase of the International Science Center Impact study. The Steering Committee included the executive officers of ASPAC, ASTC, ecsite and Red-POP.

The report on this study presents data about the economic activity of 199 science centres and related institutions in 35 countries. It also contains 12 economic impact case studies from three countries, and an outline of how to carry out an economic impact study.

Download the complete report on this study (pdf, 706 kb).

You can also download sections of the report:

Part 1
Full list of contents plus Chapters 1-5: executive summary and key findings; introduction; project aims and project stages; discussion of what is meant by ‘economic impact’ (pdf, 326 kb)
Part 2
Chapter 6 and appendix 7: Case studies (pdf, 140 kb)
Part 3
Chapter 7: Planning and carrying out an economic impact study (pdf, 62 kb)
Part 4
Chapter 8: Data collected for the project (pdf, 196 kb)
Part 5
Appendixes, acknowledgements and bibliography (pdf, 263 kb)
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