Bradford and Shipley MP meet boss over National Media Museum plans (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford and Shipley MP meet boss over National Media Museum plans
Two Bradford MPs will meet the head of the National Media Museum next week to find out what is being done to get visitor numbers up – weeks before the Culture Minister is in the district to help shape the facility’s future.
Gerry Sutcliffe, Labour MP for Bradford South, and Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies, both instrumental in securing the Culture, Sport and Media Select Committee inquiry into the museum’s future, will meet museum head Jo Quinton-Tulloch.
They will discuss what is being done to get visitor numbers up before Culture Minister Ed Vaizey comes to Bradford next month.
Mr Vaizey will meet interested parties, including the museum, Bradford Council, the University, the College and MPs, to discuss how the museum could attract more visitors.
Its future became uncertain in the wake of falling visitor numbers which dropped from a peak of one million to about 500,000.
Mr Sutcliffe said: “We are having a meeting next week to prepare for the visit by Mr Vaizey in September and drive things forward.”
The Telegraph & Argus Stop the Cut campaign, which attracted 45,000 signatures to save the museum, was started when Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group, said that one of its three northern museums – the Railway Museum in York and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester are the others – could close.
Those backing the T&A campaign included Hollywood producer Martin Scorsese, Monty Python stars Michael Palin and Terry Jones, artist David Hockney and actor John Hurt. But before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in June, Mr Blatchford ended weeks of uncertainty by confirming the media museum was “saved”.
Miss Quinton-Tulloch said: “The minister’s visit will be a very valuable part of our ongoing discussions with partners, national and local Government and other supporters regarding future developments for the Museum.
“It will contribute to the work we are undertaking on the museum’s strategic plan, which also involves looking at how we turn the incredible support we received in recent weeks into practical action.”
In October half-term the museum is working with the BBC to put on Doctor Who activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the programme and is hosting its own exhibition from November celebrating the fans of the show.
The Bradford Animation Festival will also be held in November.
Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem) said that he met Miss Quinton-Tulloch a month ago to discuss the plans for the museum. He said: “I have also got some young people from Bradford East schools to deliver work on what they would like to see at the museum and we may present that to the minister when he arrives.
“Young people need to have their say and I will use some money from a charity I worked with at Bradford City for the project.”
Mr Davies said: “We will basically talk through how we can help and we will work together to give the museum a viable future. I think Ed Vaizey has been amazingly supportive all the way through this process and has certainly played a crucial role in moving things forward.”
Bradford Council leader, Councillor David Green, said that he intended to be at the September meeting attended by Mr Vaizey.
“It is important that representative organisations and MPs are there to discuss what the museum, the Science Museum Group and the Government can do jointly with the local authority to make sure the plan is delivered,” he said.
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