Over half of all adults in England have visited a museum or art gallery in the past year, according to new statistics published by the Department for Culture Media and Sport. Since its Taking Part Survey began in 2005/6, the proportion of people visiting England’s museums and galleries has increased from 42% to 53%. All parts of the country have recorded growth but there are regional variations. While people who live in rural areas are just as likely as those in urban areas to have visited a museum or gallery in the past 12 months, Londoners are most likely to have attended, with 58% having done so, while the equivalent figure in the West Midlands is only 46%. The proportion of adults who attend or participate in the arts has also grown, but not at the same rate. 78% are recorded as having engaged with the arts in the past year, compared with 76% in 2005/6, but most of that growth has been in the past two years.  

Liz Hill