Annual visitor figures for DCMS sponsored museums show 11% growth outside London 6/11/2019

DCMS has published the 2018 - 19 annual visitor figures for the 15 mostly national museums which it directly funds, showing 49.8m visits, a 5.5% increase on the previous year and the highest figure since records began 15 years ago. Detail includes:

  • There were 8.5m visits by children, up 5.9% from the previous year and comprising 17% of all visits. Science Museum Group again attracted the most child visits at 1.6m (a 2.2% decline from the previous year), followed by the Natural History Museum at 1.5m visits – an increase of 26.8% driven by its ‘Life in the Dark’ exhibition and its ‘Kids go free’ campaign.
  • National Museums Liverpool had a particularly strong year with visits up by 20% to over 3.9m, driven first by its Terracotta Warriors exhibition, then by ‘John and Yoko, Double Fantasy’ which has run since May 2018. Together, museums outside London grew their audience by an average of 11%.
  • The four sites making up the Tate were again the most visited, attracting over 8.1m, followed by the British Museum at 6.1m.
  • 9% of visits were from overseas visitors, up 6.1% from the previous year, with the National Gallery performing particularly strongly and growing its overseas audience by 20% to 4m. Royal Museums Greenwich has the highest proportion of overseas visitors at 70%, the result of planned initiatives since its four new galleries opened in autumn 2018.
  • Self-generated income was up by 5% from the previous year, from £275m to £289m. £61m of this came from admissions, an increase of 20%; £48.2m came from trade (down 2.5%).
  • Combined website visits to the museums were 123.2m, more than a quarter of which, or 33.6m, accessed the British Museum site. This was a fall of 10.5% from the previous year – website visits grew for a majority of museums.

Gov.uk (overview), Gov.uk (full report), Museums Journal