The London Design Museum will join the list of free museums when it moves to its new promises in Kensington in 2016. This was confirmed by the chancellor George Osbourne via Twitter on the 17 October where he is quoted as saying that this is ‘all part of our plan to make UK & London best place in world for creative industries’. At the moment it costs around £12 to visit the museum.
Compared to more accessible attractions, the museum has suffered somewhat with its location due to the nearest tube being a 15 minute walk away at London Bridge. It hopefully means that the move and this new development will increase visitors to the museum which continues to receive positive reviews for putting on and well curated exhibitions which have included: Hello, My Name is Paul Smith, Sustainable Futures and Collection Lab along with their regular Designers in Residence programme.
At odds with earlier Conservative policy, the then new Labour government, in 1997, promised to reintroduce free-entry to national museums by increasing public investment in exchange for dropping admission fees. This came into effect in 2001 with the Museum Association finding that those who 'dropped charges all saw substantial increases to their visitor numbers, an average of 70 per cent'.
The current top free UK museums according to Visit Britain are:
1. The British Museum
2. Natural History Museum
3. The V&A Museum
4. Science Museum
5. Museum of Liverpool
6. National Museum of Scotland
7. Leeds City Museum
8. Royal Armouries
9. Riverside Museum, Glasgow
10. National Museum Cardiff
So the Design Museum will join an illustrious list of museums ensuring that knowledge sharing does not come with an entry fee.
Picture: The current Design Museum at Shad Thames
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016