At the end of September, the new Scottish galleries at the National in Edinburgh (the old National Gallery of Scotland) opened to the public. The £38.6m renovation, funded by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund with substantial donations from trusts, foundations and private individuals, represents the most substantial building project on the Mound since the 1970s.

Potential Future Trends

1. Increased Tourism

The opening of the new Scottish galleries is likely to attract a larger number of tourists to Edinburgh. The renovated galleries offer visitors an opportunity to explore and appreciate Scotland’s rich cultural heritage through its extensive collection of artworks. As a result, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses in the tourism industry are expected to benefit from the increased footfall. This trend is likely to continue in the future as more people become aware of the new galleries and their significance.

2. Growth of Cultural Experiences

The success of the new Scottish galleries signifies a growing interest in cultural experiences among the general public. Visitors are not only seeking entertainment but also education and enrichment through art and history. Museums and galleries are likely to adapt to this trend by creating immersive and interactive exhibits that engage visitors on a deeper level. The integration of technology, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, may also become more prevalent, offering visitors a more immersive and personalized experience.

3. Collaboration and Partnerships

The funding for the renovation of the Scottish galleries demonstrates the importance of collaboration and partnerships in carrying out large-scale projects. In the future, museums and galleries may increasingly rely on public-private partnerships to secure funding for renovations, expansions, and acquisitions. These collaborations can benefit both parties involved, as private donors gain recognition for their support and museums gain the financial resources necessary for improvements.

4. Sustainability and Conservation

In an era of increasing awareness about sustainability and conservation, it is likely that museums and galleries will prioritize environmentally friendly practices in their operations. This may include energy-efficient lighting systems, waste reduction initiatives, and sustainable building materials. Museums can also play a role in raising awareness about environmental issues through exhibitions and educational programs.

Predictions and Recommendations for the Industry

Prediction: Integration of Technology

As technology continues to advance, museums and galleries are predicted to integrate it further into their exhibits and experiences. Interactive displays, virtual reality tours, and augmented reality applications can enhance visitor engagement and make the experience more memorable. It is important for institutions to stay updated with the latest technological advancements and invest in incorporating them seamlessly into their offerings.

Recommendation: Diversify Funding Sources

Museums and galleries should explore various funding sources to ensure financial sustainability and independence. This may include partnerships with businesses, crowdfunding campaigns, and seeking support from philanthropic organizations. By diversifying their funding sources, institutions can mitigate the risk of relying too heavily on a single entity or sector.

Recommendation: Prioritize Community Engagement

Museums and galleries should actively involve the local community in their activities and decision-making processes. This can be achieved through community outreach programs, hosting events, and soliciting feedback from visitors. By fostering a sense of ownership and involvement, institutions can build a loyal and supportive community that will contribute to their long-term success.

Recommendation: Embrace Sustainability Practices

Museums and galleries should align themselves with sustainable practices by implementing energy-efficient systems, reducing waste, and promoting environmental education. By championing sustainability, these institutions can lead by example and inspire visitors to adopt eco-friendly behaviors in their own lives. Additionally, museums can collaborate with environmental organizations to raise awareness about pressing issues and showcase the impact of human activity on the environment.

Overall, the opening of the new Scottish galleries in Edinburgh signifies a positive future for the industry. The potential trends discussed, such as increased tourism, growth of cultural experiences, collaboration and partnerships, and sustainability, offer opportunities for museums and galleries to evolve and thrive. By embracing these trends and implementing the recommended strategies, institutions can ensure their long-term success and continue to provide enriching experiences for visitors.


  • “Scottish National Galleries – Aims and Objectives.” National Galleries of Scotland,
  • “National Lottery Grants – Scottish Galleries Revamp Set to Boost Engagement Levels.” National Lottery Heritage Fund, 22 Sept. 2021,
  • “Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Engagement.” Museums Association,