Prospect members are at the heart of the UK’s heritage, culture and arts sector. Whether at one of the national museums, galleries and libraries in England, Wales and Scotland, or at a conservation charity or archaeological trust, members are busy working to conserve, curate and explain – bringing the past to life for generations to come.

The union is committed to celebrating the UK’s heritage and representing the people who work in it. We’re uniquely placed to understand and articulate the concerns of heritage workers. We believe that the best employers listen to, and take account of, their employees views. 

British Museum

Prospect campaigns to ensure that our heritage bodies are properly funded by government. We want to ensure they can carry out their statutory role as sources of learning, knowledge and culture. We understand that reduced public funding has had a serious knock-on effect on the sector too.

Covering more than 20 different occupations, from archaeologist, archivist and curator to conservator, designer, illustrator and property manager, our 3,000-strong membership in heritage has the skills and expertise that are vital to the smooth operation of many centres of excellence in the sector.

Why cutting funding does not make economic sense

Government funding for the UK’s museums, galleries and heritage organisations has been reduced by around 30% since 2010. Yet every £1 invested generates up to £5 in return because heritage attracts tourists who spend money in local hotels, cafes, restaurants and transport.

Shorts-sighted cuts also threaten the benefits to wider society. These include:

  • Social inclusion – heritage, arts and cultural organisations play a big part in educating our young people. They inspire creativity, scientists and leaders of the future  – regardless of their backgrounds.
  • Social well-being – studies show that people who participate in heritage, culture and the arts are physically and mentally healthier.

Heritage, arts and culture organisations, and their employees who look after the nation’s treasures, are being asked to do more and more with less. Jobs have been cut and pay, which wasn’t great anyway, has stagnated. The heritage funding squeeze makes no economic sense and must stop before it is too late.