Performance - museums

Service information

A range of cultural services are provided across North Lanarkshire by CultureNL.  Responsibilities for CultureNL include the management and operation of performance venues such as Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre, arts activity and arts development, community facilities (including the letting of school halls and sports pitches), museums, archives and local studies, libraries and information services, and play services.  CultureNL also manage the catering, cleaning and caretaking functions associated with these services.

Culture NL are responsible for looking after and promoting the cultural, social, and industrial heritage of the area through museum collections, events, and exhibitions.

For more information regarding these services please follow the links below.

Performance information

Performance results for 2018/19 are summarised below and a key showing the symbols is included at the bottom of this page.

Usage of the museums service

This indicator measures the total number of usages of CultureNL museums and heritage facilities and resources.  This includes visits in person to our museums facilities, visits online through the website and social media sites, and the lending/use of museums and heritage resources.

IndicatorIdeal directionActual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18Actual 2018/19Target 2018/19Progress status
Total number of usages of CultureNL museums and heritage resourcesPerformance arrow - up 346,094361,258638,448417,788315,000Performance status - blue
  • There were 417,788 usages of CultureNL museums and heritage resources during 2018/19.  This is lower than the previous year but higher than the target of 315,000.
  • Usage is made up of visits in person which have increased on the previous year, unique web users, and twitter which has increased mainly due to the twitter engagement at

This indicator reflects the number of participants in formal learning activities taking place across museums and heritage.  This includes  those attending workshops, talks, tours, and outreach events. The indicator also records the number of volunteers who participate in learning activities (excluding friends and STA), but does not include drop-in craft/holiday activities. The number of staff led informal learning activities are also included.

IndicatorIdeal directionActual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18Actual 2018/19Target 2018/19Progress status
Number of people engaging in museum learning experiencesPerformance arrow - up 47,03245,74237,88835,00340,000Performance status - red
  • 35,003 people engaged in museum learning experiences during 2018/19.  This is a lower figure than the previous year and the target of 40,000.
  • A reduction in staff hours is the main factor in the decrease in the figure from 2017/18 to 2018/19 as this impacts on the number of learning opportunities delivered. 

Cost per visit to museums

The following indicator reports museum usage and reflects both the extent to which the service is delivered across North Lanarkshire and the appeal of museums services to the public.

The number of visits refers to the total number of visits (not visitors) to council funded or part funded museums and galleries.  Visit numbers include visits by members of the public, enquiries (through whatever medium) that mean the public gain knowledge from/about the museum collections, and outreach visits by museum staff to specific audiences.  Enquiries include object examinations and catalogue searches but exclude those about opening hours, tickets, location, or media enquiries. Knowledge from or about collections can be provided by letter, telephone, e-mail, or through web pages. Website hits require that IT systems can differentiate between general museum enquiries and those searching web pages relating to resources or collections. Outreach visits include visits to schools and activities such as sending out research boxes to schools.

Costs relate to gross expenditure for museums and galleries (excluding support costs).

IndicatorActual 2010/11Actual 2011/12Actual 2012/13Actual 2013/14Actual 2014/15Actual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18
museums and galleries gross expenditure (£000)£1,752£1,455£1,639£1,702£1,685£1,712£1,586£1.538
number of museum visits204,204203,708188,520179,959224,289346,094361,258638,448
cost per visit to museums and galleries in North Lanarkshire£8.58£7.14£8.69£9.46£7.51£4.95£4.39£2.41
Scotland comparisons£4.20£3.47£3.58£3.34£3.33£3.04£3.31£3.49
Family group comparisons£4.76£3.65£3.70£3.43£3.58£3.13£3.26£3.66
  • Across Scotland costs per visit to museums and galleries in 2016/17 range from £0.28 to £43.06, however analysis undertaken nationally shows no real pattern emerging in terms of population density, size, or deprivation levels of a council having an impact on costs.
  • Costs per visit to museums within North Lanarkshire (£2.41 in 2017/18) are lower than figures for Scotland (£3.49) and our family group (£3.66).  Over the period (2010/11 to 2017/18) costs on museums and galleries has decreased in North Lanarkshire by almost 72% compared to a decrease in Scotland overall (17%) and the family group (-23%).
  • Conversely, the number of visits has increased by almost 213% in North Lanarkshire over the same period, compared to an increase of 33% for Scotland overall and 51% for the family group.
  • The number of museum visits is influenced by a wide ranging definition which counts, among other things, both visits made in person and virtual visits (i.e. through a website), as noted above.  The cost of administering a visit made in person outweighs the cost of a virtual visit or of sending out an information pack to a school, for example.  As 97% of North Lanarkshire's visits are made in person this is a contributory factor to higher than average unit costs.  Analysis of previous years visit numbers show that the proportion of visits made in person across museums in Scotland ranges from 11% to 99%, this suggests caution should be exercised when making comparison with Scotland or family group figures as all elements of service delivery are not being considered equally across all councils due to the arrangements each council has in place.
  • In addition, North Lanarkshire is in a family group which includes 4 city councils (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Dundee).  As cities generally tend to have a higher number of museums and higher levels of attendance and tourism, visits and costs are not necessarily comparable on an equal basis.
  • Another factor which may account for large variations in museum costs is the proportion of museums which are funded or part funded by a council.  In North Lanarkshire, the council funds 100% of museums and therefore gross costs are higher than those where local authorities only contribute part funding; again this impacts on the viability of using the Scotland or family group averages (noted above) to assess performance.

Satisfaction with the museums service

The following indicator measures the proportion of adults surveyed who are satisfied or very satisfied with museums and galleries in North Lanarkshire. Those people who gave no opinion on the service are excluded from the results.

Several factors can have an impact on adult satisfaction and attendance levels to cultural and leisure services, this can include the number and size of facilities available for use, the age, quality and range of these facilities, the extent to which facilities and activities are publicised, and the opening hours, variety, programming and costs of activities on offer.

The data for this indicator comes from the Scottish Household Survey which is undertaken by the Scottish Government.  Some caution should be taken when reviewing these figures as the sample sizes for some local authorities can be small, also national and family group comparisons are only indicative.

IndicatorActual 2010-14Actual 2012-15Actual 2013-16Actual 2014-17
% of adults satisfied with museums and galleries in North Lanarkshire74.5%77.7%73.3%75.3%
Scotland comparisons76.5%76.3%74%72%
Family group comparisons78.7%79.8%77.6%75.6%
  • The latest satisfaction figures for museums in North Lanarkshire shows a level of satisfaction similar to the national average.
  • However, this survey was not undertaken by CultureNL and therefore any interpretation of the results is incomplete without full information on the audience sampled and their locality, the venue(s) they visited, the context in which the question was asked, and the number of respondents to the question.

Comparing our performance

The above information includes a subset of indicators from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) where North Lanarkshire's performance can be compared nationally across all councils in Scotland.

Comparisons are also made with our family group which comprises councils with whom our performance is most comparable in terms of demographic conditions. 

For these indicators our family group comprises eight of the most densely populated council areas in Scotland, these councils are Aberdeen City Council, Dundee City Council, East Dunbartonshire Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Falkirk Council, Glasgow City Council, West Dunbartonshire Council, and North Lanarkshire Council.

What the council is doing to improve services

Work is ongoing to ensure the continued development of our culture and leisure services, key priorities for CultureNL for the museums and heritage service over 2016-19 are highlighted in the development plan.

In addition, CultureNL representatives are currently leading on family group collaborations to share good practice and learning in terms of the various museums services in operation.  The aim is to gain an understanding of the differences in the services provided across the councils in the group and identify areas where improvements can be made.  This work will also involve further exploration of the performance figures reported above to help councils gain an understanding of the differences in the performance figures for costs and customer satisfaction.

How the public can get involved

Further information

Local councils provide a wide range of services for their communities; the online data tool, My Local Council, provides further information and comparisons on these services to show how councils across Scotland are performing.

Key to symbols
Ideal directionProgress status
The ideal direction of an indicator is the way we aim to see performance results change over time.  The two options are as follows:We assess the progress of each of our indicators by comparing the latest performance results to target.  The traffic light system used to assess progress is noted below:
Performance arrow - up
  • high figures are good for this indicator
  • we aim to see an upward trend
Performance status - green
  • performance is on target and/or within the acceptable thresholds
Performance arrow - down
  • low figures are good for this indicator
  • we aim to see a downward trend
Performance status - red
  • performance does not meet the target set and is outwith the acceptable thresholds
  Performance status - blue
  • performance surpasses the target and exceeds expectations

For any queries, or further details regarding the performance information on this page, please contact the Business Solutions team.

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