New Life Online gallery at Bradford's National Media Museum. Credit: Martello Media

National Media Museum to undertake spending review

Rebecca Atkinson, 11.10.2012
Bradford museum to cut running costs amid falling visitor numbers
The National Media Museum in Bradford has announced that it will undertake a spending review to cut running costs and go “back to basics” amid falling visitor numbers.

The review includes a three-week staff consultation about a proposed restructure, which started today. The National Media Museum was unable to confirm how many posts might be at risk or when the spending review will complete.

The decline in visitors to the museum has stabilised in the past 12 months with the opening of the new Life Online gallery. But numbers have fallen from a peak of nearly one million in 2001 to 500,000 in 2011.

A recent review carried out by the museum’s parent organisation, the Science Museum Group, found that average costs per visitor at the National Media Museum were 30% more than at the Science Museum in London, the National Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the National Railway Museum in York.

The review aims to bring down the running costs while also looking at ways to increase visitor numbers through improved public exhibitions, events and cinema programme.

Heather Mayfield, deputy director of the Science Museum Group, said: "We are confident that by going back to basics and focusing on the delivery of new exhibitions, events, a vibrant cinema programme and increased access to the collection, we will reconnect the museum with its audiences and underline its position as a national and international cultural force.  

“We recognise that this is an extremely difficult time for staff and will ensure that consultation will be conducted with the utmost consideration for any staff member affected.”

At the end of last year, a reorganisation of the senior management team of the Science Museum Group saw Colin Philpott leave his role as director of the National Media Museum. Nine other roles at the Bradford museum were made redundant.

Jo Quinton-Tulloch took up the new role of head of the National Media Museum last month. She was previously head of exhibitions at the Science Museum in London.

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