University museums

July 16, 2004

University museums will be able to reclaim value-added tax in line with those outside the higher education sector, Gordon Brown announced this week, writes Chris Johnston.

The Chancellor billed it as an extension of the free entry to museums scheme introduced in 2001, which has seen the number of visitors rise from 7.7 million to 13.3 million a year.

Five of Britain's 28 university museums that charge for admission, including the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, will now be able to reclaim VAT.

Nick Merrimen, curator of museums and collections at University College London, said the decision sent a signal that university museums were an important part of the nation's heritage.

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