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Visitor Numbers Up At MOSI

Redeveloped building boosts numbers as boss vows to find new business model

Written by . Published on July 25th 2011.


Visitor Numbers Up At MOSI

THE MUSEUM of Science and Industry (MOSI) saw an increase in visitor numbers after it reopened following the £9m refurbishment of its Great Western Warehouse.

The latest MOSI accounts, for the year to March 31, 2011, show an increase from 568,993 in 2010 to 638,347 a year later, although that number was ‘lower than hoped.’

"The new facilities that have been developed have been designed with these changes in mind and will form a good base to grow the commercial aspects of the business."

The museum’s commercial income dropped by £80,000 to £30,000 however, due to the refurbishment, which ran four months over schedule. The museum had originally budgeted for £12,000 if commercial income, however.

 It did make an overall profit of £6.7m for the year, due to £4.5m of income for the refurbishment and an additional £3m which came in because of a change in the way pensions are calculated and the increased value of its own pension fund. The previous year, the museum made a loss of £1.6m.

The museum also recouped another £120,000 from the money it lost when Icelandic bank Kaupthing collapsed. It has now managed to regain more than half of the £923,000 it lost.

The accounts said MOSI would continue to try and make itself ‘self sustaining’ during 2011. At the end of the financial year, it had 120 staff and a wage bill of nearly £3m.

Tony Hill, chief executive of the museum, saw his salary package increase from £84,000 to £103,000 in 2011.

Hill said the funding beyond 2015 was ‘less certain’ as the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will be looking for a new sponsor the museum. It currently contributes almost £4m a year in grant funding.

‘The new facilities that have been developed have been designed with these changes in mind and will form a good base to grow the commercial aspects of the business,’ he says in the accounts. ‘The museum is well-placed to build on its current position and face the challenges ahead.’

The accounts also point out that the museum failed to inform the before using its own reserves to pay for some of the £9m refurbishment works. It says the DCMS accepts this was ‘an oversight’ and the department was in discussions with the museum to make sure it doesn’t happen in future.

The refurbished building features two new galleries – Revolution and Experiment – and was opened by Brian Cox in January.

 

 

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

tblzebraJuly 25th 2011.

It'd be interesting to see a like-for-like comparison of year ending March 2009 to year ending March 2011, (missing out some of the period when many visitors thought the place was closed, due to the main entrance reconstruction).

Then we'd know if spending all that money has made a difference, apart from allowing the Director to have a nice wage increase.

AnonymousJuly 25th 2011.

22.6%

AnonymousJuly 26th 2011.

22.6%

tblzebraJuly 26th 2011.

Yes anon, that's a nice butty for him isn't it, I wonder if the rest of the staff received over 20% too.

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