§ Mr. Fisher
To ask the Minister for the Arts (1) what was the income from admission charges at the Kensington site of the science museum for the period October 1988 to October 1989;
(2) what was the total cost of (a) setting up the admission charging system in equipment and staff and (b) running the admission charging system between October 1988 and October 1989 at the Kensington site of the science museum;
(3) what were the admission figures at the Kensington site of the science museum for the periods (a) October 1987 to October 1988, (b), October 1986 to October 1987, (c) October 1985 to October 1986, (d) October 1984 to October 1985 and (e) October 1983 to October 1984,
(4) what were the admission figures for the Kensington site of the science museum for the period October 1988 to October 1989 (a) in total, (b) for those paying the full admission price and (c) for each exempt or partially exempt category.369W
§ Mr. Luce
[holding answer 29 January 1990]: I am advised that the estimated number of admissions at the science museum, including outstations, for the years 1983 to 1989 are as follows:
Year Admissions 1983 4,784,000 1984 4,510,103 1985 4,607,852 1986 4,824,906 1987 4,732,784 1988 3,861,433 1989 2,607,724
The staffing and administration of the arrangements for the collection of admission charges at the science museum are matters for the museum's trustees. I understand, however, that not only has the science museum generated a substantial income of just over £1 million from the introduction of admission charges, but has done so with the museum being free of charge, or accessible at reduced rates, to 65 per cent. of all visitors.
I also understand that the science museum intends to invest its admissions income in improved visitor facilities.
I shall ask the director of the science museum to write to the hon. Member about the other points raised.