The Museum's grand entrance on Cromwell Road

Find out how the Museum is funded and how we use our resources.


The majority of the Museum’s funding comes from government grant-in-aid through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). This funding is set for a number of years, and the Museum provides reports to DCMS on how it has met its agreed targets.

Read the funding agreement to 2021 PDF (597KB).

The remainder of the funding for our core work comes from fundraising and the Museum's commercial activities, which are conducted through the Natural History Museum Trading Company.

The Trading Company

The Trading Company carries out the Museum’s commercial activities, which include touring exhibitions, brand management and licensing, imaging, catering, retail, events, consultancy and more.

The Trading Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Museum. No loans are given to or taken from the Museum, but there is an intercompany current account - where transactions between the two organisations are booked - that is regularly settled.

The Trading Company's Board is composed of three Trustees - the Museum Director, the Director of Public Engagement and the Director of Finance.

Additional funding

Additional funding for our scientific research is awarded by UK Research and Innovation, the European Union, trusts, charities and other grant-awarding bodies.

Our long-term aim is to reduce the Museum’s dependence on grant-in-aid. We are achieving this by maximising revenue from our trading operations and finding new sources of financial support for our scientific research and exhibitions.

For our grants and donations see Annual reviews.


Our accounts describe how the Museum's money is spent in detail, and provide an overview of our activities.

Our accounts are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General and laid before Parliament each year.

The expenses and hospitality information for the Executive Board of Directors at the Museum is published annually, following the publication of our annual reports and accounts. Read it on the UK Government website.