Five-year vision to awaken 'sleeping giant' of National Media Museum (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Five-year vision to awaken 'sleeping giant' of National Media Museum
A five-year “visionary” action plan has been created for what a Government Minister called the “sleeping giant” of the National Media Museum to secure its future and give it international prestige.
It involves making the museum more attactive to visitors both visually and by making more use of its world class collections as well as developing partnerships with commercial organisations, Bradford College, Bradford University, and Bradford Council.
But museum director, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, yesterday insisted that the name of the museum will not change.
The announcement of the action plan comes only months after the NMM was threatened with the axe because of falling visitor numbers and the fact it costs much more per visitor head than any other museum in the Science Museum group.
That led to the Telegraph & Argus mounting our Stop the Cut campaign which attracted more than 45,000 signatures and support from famous names including legendary Hollywood director Martin Scorsese, actor John Hurt, Bradford-born artist David Hockney and Monty Python stars Terry Jones and Michael Palin among others.
Miss Quinton-Tulloch outlined her vision yesterday to the Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, who said that he felt the museum was a “sleeping giant” which had suffered a slide in its fortunes.
He was joined by members of the Science Museum Group, including its director, Ian Blatchford, Lord Grade, who is chairman of the NMM Advisory Board, and its chief operating officer Jonathan Newby, Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe, Bradford Council leader David Green, Council chief executive Tony Reeves, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Council’s executive member for culture, Michele Sutton, the chief executive of Bradford College, and Ron McKay, the press officer for Bradford West MP George Galloway.
Miss Quinton-Tulloch said: “It is about developing a five-year vision.
“We are working with architects about what the building could look like.
“We need to create a dedicated space for our own photography and want to look at interactive galleries. Our Magic Factory looks old and we need to create a brand new interactive gallery.
“We want to talk to the local community and find out what they would like and how we can better serve Bradford.”
Visitor numbers have not dramatically increased and sit at about 500,000 a year from a high of one million.
Mr Vaizey said: “As a Government we will do what we can with strategic support and, if we can find the money, financial support, but it also requires (support) from everyone in Bradford.
“I made that decision to keep it open come what may. What worried me was putting a sticking plaster on it, but today showed me we can go much further and transform the museum.”
Mr Blatchford said: “Although it has been a rough summer, there is a very bright future ahead for the museum,” he said. “The museum is overflowing with world class collections and they should be a massive tourist attraction and it’s about making the building work because it has been there for 30 years.
e-mail: dolores.cowburn @telegraphandargus.co.uk
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