Discussion Paper: Economic Impact of Local Museums 2015 Introduction

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Economic Impact of Local Museums
Considerable work on measuring the economic impact of museums, arts and cultural organisations has been undertaken and over the last twenty years numerous studies have examined the economic benefits of museums locally, nationally and internationally.
Generally such studies have considered economic impact to be calculated using a range of data, including: museums’ turnover (including core support, trading activities and entry charges); the leverage of other financial resources (such as sponsorship, grants and donations); sustaining direct and indirect employment (with some studies considering the impact of staff expenditure within the local economy); the influence of capital programmes on local regeneration; the impact of visitor spend within the museums and more widely; and the contribution of museums in attracting and causing spend by tourists, both domestic and ‘out of state’.
A mapping of the methodologies used to identify the economic contribution of museums highlights that while there is a wide range of approaches - Multiplier Analysis, Contingent Valuation, Return on Investment and Economic Valuation through Cost-benefit Analysis - there is a general preference for the use of Multiplier Analysis methodologies across the museum sector.

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