Plans to safeguard future of National Media Museum in Bradford revealed (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Plans to safeguard future of National Media Museum in Bradford revealed
Measures are being taken to try to safeguard the future of the National Media Museum in Bradford.
But job losses will be a definite casualty of a spending review triggered after visitor numbers halved in the past decade from a high of a million a year.
Moving archives, reviewing jobs and spending more on exhibitions, galleries and events are all plans aimed at attracting a “bigger and more diverse” audience to the museum.
The Telegraph & Argus revealed in October that the museum had to slash costs after it was found that it spends 30 per cent more per visitor head than other museums in the Science Museum group, which includes the Science Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, National Railway Museum (York) and the National Railway Museum (Shildon).
It suffered a further blow when the BBC announced it would be pulling out of the museum by next March, a move taken by the BBC purely as part of its own cost-saving strategy.
The plan now is to get Bradford in line with the other venues, but the museum has not revealed what the actual spend per head is, or how much the budget is or what it could be reduced to.
A museum spokesman stressed the IMAX cinema is not currently under threat and that all moves were being taken to secure the facility’s future in Bradford. But it has also been revealed museum archives have been moved from Black Dyke Mills to a Science Museum Group-owned store in Swindon to save cash.
A museum spokesman said the spending review was designed to enable it to “spend less on fixed costs and more on exhibitions, galleries and events”.
“We are still in the process of staff consultation so cannot give final details or discuss specific cases, but some roles will be lost and others will be created with the aim of developing a better, affordable future,” he said.
“Savings made this way are only part of the scenario. We are investing in the building infrastructure to deliver lower utility costs. All of these measures are necessary to make the National Media Museum more affordable.”
He said the IMAX was the biggest screen in the region and would be continually assessed to ensure a sustainable future for the museum.
Asked whether there was a threat to the museum’s existence in Bradford, the spokesman added: “Please be assured these changes are being made with the aim of safeguarding the National Media Museum in Bradford. It is a difficult time at the moment, but we are looking forward to an exciting programme of events next year and beyond.
“Visitor numbers for the 2011/12 financial year were 483,000 and we are currently on target to exceed 500,000 visitors this year.
“We have already seen significant year-on-year increases in visitor numbers for our new-look school holiday and family activities which continue in February when Horrid Henry comes to the museum.”