UK museums plan joint ‘free entry’ marketing campaign

Some of the UK’s most famous museums and galleries are planning a joint marketing push to raise awareness of free admission.

The move follows last week’s Government announcement of a list of organisations to benefit from tax relief if the public is allowed free admission.

All the national museums and galleries, including the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum, as well as the National Museums and Galleries of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, will drop admission charges by December this year. In total there will be 24 sites that will offer free admission.

The organisations are meeting on August 21, to discuss joint marketing plans focusing on the free admission. Although it is not yet known what form of marketing the group is planning, or whether it will require an advertising agency.

Natural History Museum head of communications Catherine Holden says: “All the museums listed are meeting together on September 21 to discuss a joint marketing venture. It is really too early to say what will be involved.”

The UK’s galleries and museums have worked together in the past offering overseas visitors a discount card – GoSee. The card, which ran for nearly ten years, was recently disbanded because of the introduction of free entry.

The tax relief for museums is one of the 25 steps pledged by the Government for a better UK. The plan to scrap admissions was originally part of the 1997 election manifesto. By allowing museums to reclaim value-added tax, it removes an incentive to charge visitors.

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