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BRITARCH  March 2001

BRITARCH March 2001

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Subject:

FREE ADMISSION TO NATIONAL MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

From:

Mike Heyworth <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 12 Mar 2001 11:04:30 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (101 lines)

From: Emma Wright [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 07 March 2001 17:07

FREE ADMISSION TO NATIONAL MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
C&E 3
7 March 2001

Britain's main national museums and galleries will receive refunds of VAT
when they allow free admission to the public, the Chancellor announced
today.
A new scheme will allow the main national museums and galleries to provide
free admissions and still recover the VAT they incur on the things that they
buy, removing this barrier to free entry. The Government hopes that national
museums and galleries will take advantage of this scheme to move rapidly to
free entry, opening up these great cultural institutions to the public.
Chris Smith, the Secretary of State for Culture, said:
"I am delighted with the Chancellor's announcement. The new scheme
recognises the unique part our national museums and galleries play in
British cultural life. I will now work with the museums to ensure that
together we deliver the Government's objective that everyone should have
free access to these main national museums and galleries."
The Government will be consulting museums and galleries on the detail of the
scheme, which will be introduced by September 2001. However, eligible
museums and galleries which do not currently charge will be able to recover
the VAT they incur from 1 April 2001.
DETAILS
1. The Government is committed to universal access to the main national
museums and galleries. These include the British Museum, the National
Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the National
Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern, the Victoria & Albert
Museum, the Museum of London, the Museum of Science and Industry, the
Wallace Collection, and national museums and galleries in the devolved
regions. 
2. The universal access policy already provides free entry for children and
pensioners to the main national museums and galleries, and this was to have
been extended in September 2001 with the "Quids In" scheme, allowing 1
entry for adults.
3. Organisations whose activities are undertaken for no charge are not
considered 'in business' for VAT purposes, and any VAT they incur in
relation to these activities cannot therefore be recovered. For many
national museums and galleries, VAT therefore creates an incentive for them
to charge for admissions, so that they can recover the VAT they incur on the
things that they buy.
4. Under the new scheme announced today, all those main national museums and
galleries that allow free admissions will be refunded the VAT they incur on
their purchases. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is
confident this will mean that all the national museums and galleries it
sponsors will move to free entry.
5. Museums policy is devolved, but this new VAT scheme applies across the
UK, so museums in the devolved countries can also reclaim VAT without
charging for entry.
6. The scheme will be introduced by legislation in the upcoming Finance
Bill, with a list of eligible museums and galleries to be drawn up in
parallel. The refunds will apply to all non-charging main national museums
and galleries, at a cost of around 15 million per year, and will come into
effect no later than September 2001. However, eligible museums and galleries
which do not currently charge will be able to recover the VAT they incur
from 1 April 2001. Customs will shortly be writing to these bodies and their
sponsor departments to set out the details of the scheme.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. Many of the main national museums and galleries already allow universal
free access, including the British Museum, the National Gallery, the
National Portrait Gallery, the Wallace Collection, Tate Britain and Tate
Modern. 
2. Further information is contained in Budget Notice BN 70/01, available
from Customs and Excise Business Advice Centres and the Customs and Excise
Internet site.
HM Customs and Excise Press Office:
Media enquiries to:
020 7865 5471 / 5472.
out of hours:
020 7620 1313.
HM Customs and Excise information is on the Internet: 
<http://www.hmce.gov.uk>
DCMS Press Office:
Media enquiries:
020 7211 6276
DCMS information is on the Internet: 



Emma Wright
Press Officer
Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries
16 Queen Anne's Gate
London  SW1H 9AA
Tel: 020 7273 1459 - directline
Email: [log in to unmask]
Website: www.resource.gov.uk
Join the Resourcenews email list at
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/resourcenews.html

Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries
16 Queen Anne's Gate
London
SW1H 9AA

Tel 02072731444

Website: http://www.resource.gov.uk

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