Bradford's National Media Museum

Cuts hit home at National Media Museum

Rebecca Atkinson, 19.12.2012
 Direct changes made to 35 roles in first phase of review
The National Media Museum in Bradford has made cuts of about £250,000 in the first phase of its review of spending, which is due to complete at the end of January.

Five out of 12 departments have undergone restructures, with “direct changes” made to 35 roles. Nine members of staff have taken voluntary redundancy, while 23 staff members have been retained in existing positions, new roles or elsewhere within the Science Museum Group. Four roles are yet to be filled.

A spokesman for the museum said he was unable to give further details. But the roles reorganised so far were from: collections; public programme; communications; design; and learning departments.

There were 183 roles across the museum before the restructure, including 41 casual staff.

Jo Quinton-Tulloch, head of the National Media Museum, said: “This is a very difficult time for all our staff and it is with regret that we will lose a number of colleagues.

"We do not anticipate any compulsory redundancies in this phase, and despite the on-going requirement to save money I am confident these changes will enable the National Media Museum to deliver a re-vitalised visitor offer, a more varied programme and focus on the use, research and development of the core collections.”

The Bradford museum announced in October that it would undertake a review of spending to cut running costs and go “back to basics” amid visitor numbers falling from a peak of nearly one million in 2001 to 500,000 in 2011.

A review carried out by the Science Museum Group, the museum’s parent organisation, 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.
Please be aware that the wider review is still on-going but this initial phase is due to be completed by the end of January.

Meanwhile, 14 new positions have been created at Leeds Museums and Galleries following a £1.68m refurbishment and visitor numbers doubling in five years. Leeds is also an Arts Council England major museum partner, and the new posts will be funded from its £5.1m grant.

John Roles, head of Leeds Museums and Galleries, said: “This is a difficult time in the arts and public sectors and every week we hear of the impact of cuts in our communities. Leeds City Council has pledged its commitment to ensure the city continues to have a rich cultural offering.”


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Jonathan Gammond
MA Member
01.01.2013, 22:36
Perhaps the National Media Museum could transform itself into a National Science Museum "of the North" ie all the amazingly broad and fascinating content and offer of the Science Museum but available up north, rather than an expensive journey away.I know 'the media' is central to our lives, but it is 'a means' more than 'an end' and that is always going to be a challenge for anyone thinking about ways to attract visitors. Surely every national museum is a national media museum?As it is, it's hard not to feel that National Media Museum (and its previous names/guises) is a bit of a 'what can we in the south do for the north' project. No wish to offend.
Mary (Marette) Hickford
MA Member
Volunteer, IWM Friends, Imperial War Museum
20.12.2012, 10:54
The Museum could always organise an exhibition which focuses on trust and the media and the importance of trust between users and the application of information technology. This might push up numbers in light of the revelations surrounding the BBC and other related broadcasters.