In December 2001, the ‘New Labour’ Government completed an incremental policy shift across the devolved polity of the UK that saw a significant increase in public investment committed to national museums and galleries in return for the provision of free access to their general collections. In response to this financial incentive, the vast majority of national museums and galleries that levied charges for general admission acted to remove these charges. The removal of general admission charges had been an important Labour Party policy commitment in Opposition, and senior Labour politicians pointed to the 2001 removal of charges as a major achievement in relation to the Labour Government's public policy agenda. This article examines the Labour Government's 2001 policy drive toward the removal of general admission charges at the national museums and galleries, and reports on research conducted during 2002 into the early implementation of this public policy shift
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