Bradford's media museum secures vital funding

Simon Stephens, 19.09.2014
Museum has been battling with falling visitor numbers
The troubled National Media Museum (NMM) in Bradford has been boosted by a £2m funding package that the organisation hopes will secure its future.

The museum, which is part of the Science Museum Group (SMG), has been hit by falling visitor numbers and uncertainty over its viability.

But this week it was announced that Bradford Council had approved £1m of revenue funding over the next three years for the museum. This has been backed by a £1m capital injection from the SMG, which will be used to create a new interactives gallery.

Bradford Council leader David Green said that the funding from the local authority is conditional on the SMG approving a business plan that will secure the continued presence of the museum in the city.

“When the National Media Museum was facing potential closure, thousands of local people, as well as national celebrities, supported the campaign to save it because the economic, educational and cultural benefits of the museum being based in Bradford are enormous,” Green said.

NMM director Jo Quinton Tulloch said: “The investments will help us to be fully engaged with our local audiences with strong educational offers that meet the needs for schools and communities in Bradford and the region.

"They will help us to drive up our attendances, and increase our profile nationally and internationally; crucially, they also contribute to a sustainable financial future for the museum here in Bradford.”

The new investment in the museum will be combined with ongoing efforts to reduce costs to address an annual revenue shortfall. The NMM is also hoping to find a commercial cinema partner.

Some of the investment from Bradford Council will be used to extend the work of the museum’s education team to support learning in science, engineering, technology and maths.

Visitor figures at the museum have been steadily declining since 2007-08, when they were nearly 740,000.

In the 2013-14 they were down to 480,000, according to figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

NMM visitor figures

2007-08
737,857

2008-09
672,951

2009-10
606,837

2010-11
497,522

2011-12

484,018

2012-13
493,000

2013-14
480,000

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