museums and heritage

British museums and heritage organisations issue Covid-19 joint statement

The statement references the 'challenging task' facing DCMS staff | Image: © DCMS/Twitter

A statement jointly penned by leaders of the National Museum Directors’ Council, Association of Independent Museums, Museums Association, Heritage Alliance, and National Trust has been published in response to the address made by chancellor Rishi Sunak on Friday.

Covid-19 is an ongoing public health emergency and our foremost thoughts are with those who are affected, those who have lost loved ones and those in the healthcare frontline.

As has been acknowledged by the UK Government, the widespread and necessary measures put in place this week to mitigate the spread of the virus meant that organisations would suffer economically, placing jobs and livelihoods at serious risk.

In addition, for the museums and independent heritage sectors, this has also placed irreplaceable indoor and outdoor collections at risk, as well as the highly valued work we do in engaging people in their history; in supporting social cohesion; in providing spaces for learning and encouraging a better understanding of everyone’s place in the world.

We welcome the unprecedented steps taken by the UK Government to address these impacts and risks and recognise the challenging task this has presented for colleagues in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

Whilst there remains considerable uncertainty and tough times lie ahead, we are greatly encouraged by the financial measures announced on Friday 20th March and the positive response they provide to the deep and widespread concerns of the museums and heritage sectors.

We look forward to continuing our work with colleagues in DCMS, and others, to find the right solutions both for museums and heritage and for the UK, in whose recovery, museums and heritage sites have a unique and valued part to play.


Sir Ian Blatchford, Chair, National Museum Directors’ Council
Andrew Lovett, Chair, Association of Independent Museums
Maggie Appleton, President, Museums Association
Hilary McGrady, Director General, National Trust
Peter Ainsworth, Chair; Lizzie Glithero-West FSA, Chief Executive, The Heritage Alliance