Upturn for Design Museum

The Design Museum has made its first annual surplus since its opening in 1989. Director Paul Thompson says it is now well on its way to paying back its pre-launch overspend of 1.4m.

The London museum has made 114 000 profit for the year ending 31 March 1995. Its overdraft now stands at 611 000, the lowest for five years. “This is a major turning point,” says Thompson. “I think we’ve really found our feet.”

The number of admissions has increased from approximately

90 000 to 120 000 in the past year.

Income from admissions has risen by 9 per cent in comparison to the previous financial year and by 25 per cent since 1992.

“Things were not easy in the early days, and we were very badly hit by the recession,” admits Thompson.

He gives credit to Linda Smeaton, assistant director appointed last year, (DW 23 September 1994), as a major player in the financial upswing. “We can now start to predict our income. The difference is absolutely phenomenal,” he adds.

Thompson also attributes the improvement to recognising strengths and weaknesses. “We dipped our toes into all fields and now realise our strength is in being a public flagship for design,” he says.

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