A record number of visitors crossed the threshold of the UK’s national museums this summer, once again reinforcing the need to keep admissions to galleries in the UK free. The new survey shows that, 5.7 million people visited UK national museums in August 2010 representing an increase of 11% from August 2009. Over 809,443 people visited the four branches of Tate in August, a 15% increase on last year while the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Wallace Collection both saw a 24% increase in visitors compared to August 2009. The Natural History Museum had 592,534 visitors, a 17% increase on August 2009, and the National Gallery had 568,375 visitors, an 18% increase. In total the UK’s national museums welcomed over 42 million visitors in 2009/10 so far.The Survey was compiled for the Ministry of Culture and Sport which highlights an increase in museum visits. This proves that 46.7% of adults visited a museum, gallery or archive – an increase of 11% since the Taking Part survey began in 2005-06. While 68.8% of children aged 5-15 visited a museum or gallery. DCMS-funded national museums have seen a 41% rise in visitor numbers since the introduction of free admission in 2001, from 28.5 million visitors in 2000-01 to over 41 million in 2009-10.
• National Maritime Museum – 197% increase in visitors since 2001.
• National Museums Liverpool – 178% increase.
• Natural History Museum – 159% increase.
• Victoria & Albert Museum – 105% increase.