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Prospect launches report “Heritage: cold climate to ice age?”

Prospect launches report “Heritage: cold climate to ice age?”

A new survey of heritage members highlights concerns over a decade of funding cuts to the sector and the new uncertainty created by Brexit. 



“Heritage: cold climate to ice age” analyses the results of a survey of over 1,000 members. 82% of our members believe that funding cuts are having an adverse effect on their employing organization. These consistent cuts have had a big impact on pay and continued to undermine the ability of employers to recruit, retain and motivate staff. Members also reported an increase in work load, adverse impacts on their work-life balance and increased stress.  

For a full summary of the report click here.

Concerns were also raised over Brexit, and how this could exacerbate both funding and staffing problems. Currently the government has no clear plan how they address funding and staffing problems across the heritage sector both during and after Brexit. Through the report Prospect have set out a number of proposals which need to be considered to ensure the heritage sector survives.  

These proposals include:

  • Recognising continued real terms cuts in public funding are counter-productive, causing irreparable damage to the sector and missing the opportunity to maximise the economic contribution the sector makes to the economy. 

  • A programme of increased and sustained real terms investment in the heritage sector from the government to reverse the negative impacts of a decade of spending cuts.
  • Heritage organisations to make a full assessment of the likely impact of Brexit on their organisation and make the case for public funding to replace any funds that may be lost as a result of the UK leaving the EU. 

  • Prospect working with members and employing bodies to secure a better work-life balance for members, reduce hours and lower stress levels. 


 A full analysis of the report can be found here.

Prospect already has over 6,000 members professional and specialist members working in our sector, in areas such as curatorial, conservation, archaeology and visitor services, but the more members we have, the stronger our voice is to deliver a better deal on your behalf. Please share our report with your colleagues, and encourage them to join Prospect, the union for heritage.