Historic buildings form an important part of how people perceive and value their local area. This is recognised in the planning regime, where they receive protection through the designation of listed building and conservation area status. Some public-sector funding exists in the form of grants in support of historic buildings, while certain institutions that are housed in historic buildings, such as museums, may receive public funding for their activities. However, most historic buildings are held in private hands and receive no public funding.
Given the public benefit that these buildings generate, there is a direct societal interest in better understanding the value that they create for the people that use/visit them and for non-users. In Bakhshi et. al. (2015), we demonstrated for two leading cultural institutions (The Natural History Museum and Tate Liverpool) how the economic valuation techniques of contingent valuation can be used to quantify this value. Building on that research, we subsequently studied whether it was possible to obtain consistent valuation findings on a class of similar cultural assets, large regional museums in England. The consistency of values found across the museums in that study supports the idea that it is possible to transfer economic values obtained through contingent valuation to similar sites, so called benefit transfer, avoiding the need for costly primary data collection.