A study carried out by the Intergenerational Foundation (IF) has found that more than three quarters of the UK’s leading attractions are giving £65m worth of ticket-price concessions to over-60s each year, regardless of their ability to pay.
The IF’s report looked at 35 of the UK’s leading attractions’ ticketing policies and questioned their fairness.
The report singled out Edinburgh Castle, the National War Museum in Edinburgh, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle as “top offenders”, with each attraction offering an over-60s concession but no discount for students or young people.
The IF said that current ticketing policy practices “appear to make the assumption that today’s over-60s are less well-off than recent graduates, a myth that has not been the case both in terms of income and asset wealth for the past 15 years”.
The study found that, on average, a young person would spend 12% of their weekly disposable income (before travel costs) on a ticket. The same ticket for an over-60 person (with free travel), would only come to 5.6 per cent of their weekly disposable income.
The IF said that the cost of these concessions “would be enough to fund the running of at least 150 independent museums (£430,000 per year on average) and fund the equivalent of 1,500 jobs”.
The organisation added: “While some UK institutions, such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Albert Hall, the Eden Project and the Royal Academy of Art, are leading the way in acknowledging intergenerational fairness, the UK lags behind other European countries. Italy has abandoned old-age discounts and France gives free admission to the under-25s, but many cultural attractions in the UK continue to discriminate against the young.”