Review into Impact and Value of Museums in Northern Ireland

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 10 January 2011

Reference: CAL 05/10/11

The impact of museums on the local economy will be the subject of a review, the Assembly Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure has announced today. The Committee will be carrying out a review of the sector, following their Inquiry into the need for a local museums policy published in 2008.

The 2008 Inquiry was used by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to inform the development of a museums policy and the review will extend this work by focusing on the way museums can make a positive social and economic impact.

Committee Chairperson, Barry McElduff MLA said: “With the austerity measures soon to be put in place, the Committee will hold a review into how museums in Northern Ireland can be utilised as a resource to boost the economy and increase visitors, from home and abroad.

“We have numerous museums of great interest and many local, independent, specialist and national museums dotted all over in this region and we want to investigate ways to increase their economic potential.

“We will also look at the current and potential social influence that museums have on communities, given that they are defined as ‘shared spaces’ – where people of all ages, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation are welcome.

The Committee will be taking evidence from specialist bodies that have expertise in assisting museums to monitor their impact and will look at ways of bringing museums in Northern Ireland into line with good practice elsewhere in Europe.

It is envisaged that the review will be published and debated in the Assembly before the dissolution of the Assembly in 2011.