60% of museums and galleries are worried about survival, reveals Art Fund poll

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19th November 2020 19:12 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

60% of museums and galleries are worried about survival, reveals Art Fund poll: A survey by Art Fund, the national charity for art, has revealed the catastrophic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector, with 60% of the museums, galleries and historic houses polled, fearing for their survival.

Of Art Fund's 800 museum partners, just a fifth (20%) have reopened since the first UK-wide lockdown in March.

The research revealed that just 55% have received emergency funding to help them through the crisis, with 56% of these revealing that without the funding they would have had to close their doors.

The research found that income has been severely affected due to reduced visitor numbers, with more than three-quarters of respondents saying that their income is 'significantly or severely' down - or they have none at all. More than nine out of 10 (92%) said that in order to survive the pandemic they need to 'adapt and innovate'.

Also revealed by the research is that 61% of workers at museums and galleries are fearful about being made redundant.

Art Fund revealed that in the last six months it has received applications from 451 organisations to access its Respond and Reimagine emergency funding, which offers support in helping the sector adapt to Covid-19. While Art Fund had £2.25million available to support applicants, the amount applied for was in excess of £16.9 million, revealing a devastating shortfall. Just 17% of applications made could be supported.

In response, the charity has launched an urgent crowdfunding campaign titled Together for Museums to help to raise £1m for museums to 'adapt and thrive' to Covid-19, with over £250,000 already being raised through Art Fund members and supporters.

Jenny Waldman, Art Fund director, said: “Over the last six months it’s been hugely inspiring to see innovative ideas from museums to adapt and evolve, but heart-breaking that we cannot support them all".

Find out more about the campaign here

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