Treasurehouse and Powerhouse 2010 is an update of a study conducted in 2003. We asked Tony Travers and Richard Brown from the London School of Economics to re-examine the Natural History Museum’s impacts on society, particularly from an economic perspective, to update our thinking and help guide our future work.

The report’s key findings suggest the Museum has an overall economic impact of around £260m, as well as other major impacts on learning, identity and scientific knowledge. For every £1 of government grant the Museum delivers around £4 in wider economic benefit.

Download the



Between 80 and 90 per cent of the Museum’s funding is received as grant-in-aid from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The level of grant-in-aid is set for three years, and the Museum provides reports to DCMS on how it has met agreed targets.

Download the Museum's current funding agreement with DCMS PDF (430.1 KB)

Download the previous funding agreement with DCMS PDF (152.0 KB)

Download the 2007-08 funding agreement report to DCMS PDF (49.3 KB)

Download the 2006-07 funding agreement report to DCMS PDF (136.3 KB)


Other funding

The remainder of the funding for our core activities comes from admission charges for special exhibitions, sponsorship, donations, and the Museum’s commercial activities. These commercial activities – including retail and catering, scientific and exhibition consultancy, the Picture Library and events – are conducted through the Natural History Museum Trading Company. 

Research funding

Additional funding for our scientific research is awarded by research councils, the European Union (EU), trusts, charities and other grant-awarding bodies. For example, the Museum is receiving £1.8million from the EU for overseeing SYNTHESYS, the network of Europe’s leading natural history institutions established to ensure that collections and knowledge are shared and used to the maximum benefit of all members.

The long term aim for the Museum is to reduce our dependence on grant-in-aid. This is being achieved by maximising revenue from our trading operations and opening up new sources of financial support for our scientific research and exhibitions.

Cartoon image of a snake disappearing through closing door

Last year nearly 100,000 specimens were loaned to scientific institutions and researchers worldwide.