House of Commons Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee report: Caring for our Collections

25 June 2007


The Directors of the UK's national museums have welcomed the House of Commons Culture Media and Sport Committees report, Caring for Our Collections, published today.

The Directors supported the report's findings that:

  • Without sustained and well-directed investment, there is a serious risk that much of what has been achieved during the first half of this century will disappear, possibly leaving some institutions in a worse state than they were before, and throwing away the benefit from the investment already made.
  • Funding for the Renaissance in the Regions programme should, at the very least, be sustained in the next Spending Review to enable museums to fulfil the promise and build on the achievements of the first phase.
  • An area of major concern is that a decline in the collecting power of our museums may result in the collections becoming static, lacking the dynamism, which is essential for continued inspiration.
  • Tax incentives are an obvious means of cultivating a culture of giving, and there is a need for them to be more fully developed, extended and used, to tap sources of both old and new private wealth.
  • The lead-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provides an occasion, and gives added impetus, for the best of the nations cultural heritage to be showcased to the world. It is essential that the unique nature of this opportunity should be recognised and exploited to the full.

The Directors supported the report's recommendation that more money should be dedicated to acquisitions which are essential if museum collections are to develop and grow and the UK's museums are able to maintain their reputation internationally.

Mark Jones, Chair of the National Museum Directors' Conference (NMDC) said:
"Museums are an essential part of Britain's creative infrastructure. Sensible, sustained investment, combined with incentives for philanthropy, will ensure that they remain world class in the run up to the 2012 Olympics."

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