Select Committee on Public Accounts Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum submitted by Department for Culture, Media and Sport (PAC 00-01/171)

  1.  Policy on admission to DCMS-sponsored museums that charge has been to move progressively to free admission.

  2.  Free admission for children and the over 60s was introduced in April 1999 and April 2000 respectively at most DCMS-sponsored charging museums and at the Royal Armouries in Leeds from 1 April 2001.

  3.  Pending removal of the VAT obstacle to free access at charging museums (museums that went free would lose their ability to recover input VAT) the policy was to reduce all admission charges to £1 at DCMS-sponsored museums from 1 September 2001. This is the position reflected at paragraph 132 of the transcript.

  4.  On 7 March 2001 the Chancellor announced that all Government-sponsored museums that offer free admission will be able to recover their input VAT, thus removing the last major remaining obstacle to the achievement of free access.

  5.  In April 2001 the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport wrote to all the charging museums that he sponsors, including the Royal Armouries, offering additional funding to enable them to move to full free access from 1 December 2001 should their trustees wish.

Department Culture Media and Sport

1 May 2001

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