Balancing optimism with realism – results of AIM survey on museum resilience in 2022 8 Feb 2022

AIM has published the results of a snap survey of 200 museums in January 2022 – which asked about resilience to the omicron variant over Christmas, and about how museums see their prospects for 2022. Overall, most expect to survive financially but with ongoing concern about visitor figures, and need for support, variously with core funding, maintenance, specific projects and supporting staff wellbeing. Figures include:

  • 7% of respondents say they are at risk of closure, and 15% are planning restructuring and redundancy.
  • 70% expect lower income in the 2021 – 22 financial year, and 25% a drop of half or more compared to 2021 projections. A similar number expect a drop as compared to 2021 projections in 2022, 19% by more than half.
  • Around a third need core funding support to the end of the year, and 2 in 5 are seeking one-off funding for capital works and maintenance.
  • Just under a third need support to address staff resilience, wellbeing and mental health.
  • Two thirds found visitor numbers and entrance income were impacted by omicron over Christmas and New Year. For 38%, the drop in visitors was half or more.

There is a related zoom event to discuss the results on 17th February at 11am. AIM Director Lisa Ollerhead said “recovery is on the horizon thanks to the support received to date, but ensuring it continues beyond the short-term will be vital if we are to make a return on that investment. To this end we are already using the findings of the survey in our discussions with sector stakeholders.” AIM, AIM (sign up for Zoom event to discuss results)