Plans to safeguard future of National Media Museum in Bradford revealed

The National Media Museum in Bradford

The National Media Museum in Bradford

First published in Bradford Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Chief Reporter

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.”

Comments (27)

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8:08am Mon 10 Dec 12

Joedavid says...

"He said the IMAX was the biggest screen in the region and would be continually assessed to ensure a sustainable future for the museum."
What about the Pictureville cinema?
That is the best equipped cinema in the country with the unique Cinerama deep curved screen and equipment and all other formats.
I can't see moving things in storage from Bradford to the south being a saving that could not have been done here in Bradford with all the empty property around. Think this is a sinister move.
The Council need to move fast on this one and stop the move before it goes further.
"He said the IMAX was the biggest screen in the region and would be continually assessed to ensure a sustainable future for the museum." What about the Pictureville cinema? That is the best equipped cinema in the country with the unique Cinerama deep curved screen and equipment and all other formats. I can't see moving things in storage from Bradford to the south being a saving that could not have been done here in Bradford with all the empty property around. Think this is a sinister move. The Council need to move fast on this one and stop the move before it goes further. Joedavid
  • Score: 0

8:33am Mon 10 Dec 12

angry bradfordian says...

I still haven't read a reasoned argument as to why the closure of the BBC studio is a 'blow' to the museum. It's not advertised as a feature of the museum so why would it stop visitors coming?

We should still be proud to have the museum in our city. There aren't many other cities similar to Bradford that can claim half a million visitors a year.
I still haven't read a reasoned argument as to why the closure of the BBC studio is a 'blow' to the museum. It's not advertised as a feature of the museum so why would it stop visitors coming? We should still be proud to have the museum in our city. There aren't many other cities similar to Bradford that can claim half a million visitors a year. angry bradfordian
  • Score: 0

8:40am Mon 10 Dec 12

Avro says...

Amazing this comes to light now, yet the visitor number has been in serious decline for 10 years and has halved...a bit like locking the gate after the horse has bolted!

Sounds like a swift management change is required along with new ideas of how to increase visitors., year on year is an improvement but along way to go to get back to its glory days..
Amazing this comes to light now, yet the visitor number has been in serious decline for 10 years and has halved...a bit like locking the gate after the horse has bolted! Sounds like a swift management change is required along with new ideas of how to increase visitors., year on year is an improvement but along way to go to get back to its glory days.. Avro
  • Score: 0

9:24am Mon 10 Dec 12

bhuna156 says...

Wouldn't moving the archives into the museum attract more visitors?
The NMM is still one of the best museums in the UK, and still one of the most visited.... It shouldn't matter if visitor numbers have halved from a particularly high number over 10 years ago (which was around the time the "new" museum was opened and it became a free attraction by the way).... It still gets half a million visitors a year! So it's the running costs that is the problem, not the visitor numbers and It sounds like the museum is taking sensible actions ie reducing utility costs and staff cuts, so i'm sure the future of the museum if under no threat.
Wouldn't moving the archives into the museum attract more visitors? The NMM is still one of the best museums in the UK, and still one of the most visited.... It shouldn't matter if visitor numbers have halved from a particularly high number over 10 years ago (which was around the time the "new" museum was opened and it became a free attraction by the way).... It still gets half a million visitors a year! So it's the running costs that is the problem, not the visitor numbers and It sounds like the museum is taking sensible actions ie reducing utility costs and staff cuts, so i'm sure the future of the museum if under no threat. bhuna156
  • Score: 0

10:10am Mon 10 Dec 12

Apollo says...

It will probably be closed by the end of next year as funding cuts really bite or be a shadow of its former self. IMAX cinema will probably be the first to go.
It will probably be closed by the end of next year as funding cuts really bite or be a shadow of its former self. IMAX cinema will probably be the first to go. Apollo
  • Score: 0

10:24am Mon 10 Dec 12

Joedavid says...

Apollo wrote:
It will probably be closed by the end of next year as funding cuts really bite or be a shadow of its former self. IMAX cinema will probably be the first to go.
That seems a silly thing to do as the Imax and the other 2 cinemas provide revenue.
[quote][p][bold]Apollo[/bold] wrote: It will probably be closed by the end of next year as funding cuts really bite or be a shadow of its former self. IMAX cinema will probably be the first to go.[/p][/quote]That seems a silly thing to do as the Imax and the other 2 cinemas provide revenue. Joedavid
  • Score: 0

10:28am Mon 10 Dec 12

wja1966 says...

If there was more in our city centre than empty shops even more visitors would go there so its up to the council to see what they can come up with
If there was more in our city centre than empty shops even more visitors would go there so its up to the council to see what they can come up with wja1966
  • Score: 0

10:50am Mon 10 Dec 12

Avro says...

bhuna156 wrote:
Wouldn't moving the archives into the museum attract more visitors?
The NMM is still one of the best museums in the UK, and still one of the most visited.... It shouldn't matter if visitor numbers have halved from a particularly high number over 10 years ago (which was around the time the "new" museum was opened and it became a free attraction by the way).... It still gets half a million visitors a year! So it's the running costs that is the problem, not the visitor numbers and It sounds like the museum is taking sensible actions ie reducing utility costs and staff cuts, so i'm sure the future of the museum if under no threat.
RENO alert
[quote][p][bold]bhuna156[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't moving the archives into the museum attract more visitors? The NMM is still one of the best museums in the UK, and still one of the most visited.... It shouldn't matter if visitor numbers have halved from a particularly high number over 10 years ago (which was around the time the "new" museum was opened and it became a free attraction by the way).... It still gets half a million visitors a year! So it's the running costs that is the problem, not the visitor numbers and It sounds like the museum is taking sensible actions ie reducing utility costs and staff cuts, so i'm sure the future of the museum if under no threat.[/p][/quote]RENO alert Avro
  • Score: 0

10:50am Mon 10 Dec 12

JAtkinson says...

The Media Museum is a wonderful place and deserves more visitors than it gets. The BBC decision to leave the city and district is shameful, and I hope that it will not precede the museum's move from Bradford to Salford or elsewhere.

Also, had my first visit to Pictureville to see Skyfall on Friday night. It was amazing! Far, far superior to ordinary multi-screen cinemas. Will be going back to Pictureville again and again, and already booked to see The Hobbit on Imax.

If you've loved a visit to the museum, tell people - that's the best way to get visitor numbers up.
The Media Museum is a wonderful place and deserves more visitors than it gets. The BBC decision to leave the city and district is shameful, and I hope that it will not precede the museum's move from Bradford to Salford or elsewhere. Also, had my first visit to Pictureville to see Skyfall on Friday night. It was amazing! Far, far superior to ordinary multi-screen cinemas. Will be going back to Pictureville again and again, and already booked to see The Hobbit on Imax. If you've loved a visit to the museum, tell people - that's the best way to get visitor numbers up. JAtkinson
  • Score: 0

10:55am Mon 10 Dec 12

Avro says...

Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more!
Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more! Avro
  • Score: 0

11:26am Mon 10 Dec 12

Albion. says...

The IMAX is brilliant! The rest of it.........Hmm well.
The IMAX is brilliant! The rest of it.........Hmm well. Albion.
  • Score: 0

11:44am Mon 10 Dec 12

Mr Bradford says...

Avro wrote:
Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more!
I think you do actually.

http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/List_of_mos
t_visited_museums_in
_the_United_Kingdom

In 2009 it was ranked 23rd in the UK for most visited museums - 10th outside of London, and it would still be in the top 30 this year with half a million visitors.
No museum should be struggling with these sort of visitor figures, so there must be room for cutbacks.
[quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more![/p][/quote]I think you do actually. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_mos t_visited_museums_in _the_United_Kingdom In 2009 it was ranked 23rd in the UK for most visited museums - 10th outside of London, and it would still be in the top 30 this year with half a million visitors. No museum should be struggling with these sort of visitor figures, so there must be room for cutbacks. Mr Bradford
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Mon 10 Dec 12

yorkshiredude says...

30% more per head, that’s not a lot really… considering the railway museums probably have a whole lot of enthusiasts – which media doesn’t enjoy.. and MOSI in Manchester (if unchanged since my last visit a few years ago) just isn't anywhere near as good as the Media Museum!
Immensely important to keep this in the city.
30% more per head, that’s not a lot really… considering the railway museums probably have a whole lot of enthusiasts – which media doesn’t enjoy.. and MOSI in Manchester (if unchanged since my last visit a few years ago) just isn't anywhere near as good as the Media Museum! Immensely important to keep this in the city. yorkshiredude
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Mr Bradford says...

I remember seeing TV advertising for the museum about 10 years ago, They should start going down that road again.

You'd think a media museum should know how to use the media for its own advantage.
I remember seeing TV advertising for the museum about 10 years ago, They should start going down that road again. You'd think a media museum should know how to use the media for its own advantage. Mr Bradford
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Albion. says...

Mr Bradford wrote:
I remember seeing TV advertising for the museum about 10 years ago, They should start going down that road again.

You'd think a media museum should know how to use the media for its own advantage.
When they are trying to save money?
[quote][p][bold]Mr Bradford[/bold] wrote: I remember seeing TV advertising for the museum about 10 years ago, They should start going down that road again. You'd think a media museum should know how to use the media for its own advantage.[/p][/quote]When they are trying to save money? Albion.
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Avro says...

Mr Bradford wrote:
Avro wrote:
Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more!
I think you do actually.

http://en.wikipedia.

org/wiki/List_of_mos

t_visited_museums_in

_the_United_Kingdom

In 2009 it was ranked 23rd in the UK for most visited museums - 10th outside of London, and it would still be in the top 30 this year with half a million visitors.
No museum should be struggling with these sort of visitor figures, so there must be room for cutbacks.
It is now 2012

Show me where it is CURRENTLY listed in the top 50, because it is not - FACT!
[quote][p][bold]Mr Bradford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more![/p][/quote]I think you do actually. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_mos t_visited_museums_in _the_United_Kingdom In 2009 it was ranked 23rd in the UK for most visited museums - 10th outside of London, and it would still be in the top 30 this year with half a million visitors. No museum should be struggling with these sort of visitor figures, so there must be room for cutbacks.[/p][/quote]It is now 2012 Show me where it is CURRENTLY listed in the top 50, because it is not - FACT! Avro
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Mr Bradford says...

Avro wrote:
Mr Bradford wrote:
Avro wrote: Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more!
I think you do actually. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_mos t_visited_museums_in _the_United_Kingdom In 2009 it was ranked 23rd in the UK for most visited museums - 10th outside of London, and it would still be in the top 30 this year with half a million visitors. No museum should be struggling with these sort of visitor figures, so there must be room for cutbacks.
It is now 2012 Show me where it is CURRENTLY listed in the top 50, because it is not - FACT!
According to the facts i just gave you, in 2009 museums with just over 300k visitors feature in the top 40.

Are you saying that things have changed so drastically in a few years and significantly more people are now visiting museums so a museum with 500k visitors won't even make the top 50?
[quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr Bradford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more![/p][/quote]I think you do actually. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_mos t_visited_museums_in _the_United_Kingdom In 2009 it was ranked 23rd in the UK for most visited museums - 10th outside of London, and it would still be in the top 30 this year with half a million visitors. No museum should be struggling with these sort of visitor figures, so there must be room for cutbacks.[/p][/quote]It is now 2012 Show me where it is CURRENTLY listed in the top 50, because it is not - FACT![/p][/quote]According to the facts i just gave you, in 2009 museums with just over 300k visitors feature in the top 40. Are you saying that things have changed so drastically in a few years and significantly more people are now visiting museums so a museum with 500k visitors won't even make the top 50? Mr Bradford
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Mon 10 Dec 12

angry bradfordian says...

Avro wrote:
Mr Bradford wrote:
Avro wrote:
Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more!
I think you do actually.

http://en.wikipedia.


org/wiki/List_of_mos


t_visited_museums_in


_the_United_Kingdom

In 2009 it was ranked 23rd in the UK for most visited museums - 10th outside of London, and it would still be in the top 30 this year with half a million visitors.
No museum should be struggling with these sort of visitor figures, so there must be room for cutbacks.
It is now 2012

Show me where it is CURRENTLY listed in the top 50, because it is not - FACT!
http://www.guardian.
co.uk/
news/datablog/2012/o
ct/01/
museum-gallery-visit
or-figures-england-d
ata

Currently 21st most popular in England according to the Department of Culture figures....
[quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr Bradford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: Funnily enough RENO, the NMM does not even rate in the top 50.. you need to get out more![/p][/quote]I think you do actually. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_mos t_visited_museums_in _the_United_Kingdom In 2009 it was ranked 23rd in the UK for most visited museums - 10th outside of London, and it would still be in the top 30 this year with half a million visitors. No museum should be struggling with these sort of visitor figures, so there must be room for cutbacks.[/p][/quote]It is now 2012 Show me where it is CURRENTLY listed in the top 50, because it is not - FACT![/p][/quote]http://www.guardian. co.uk/ news/datablog/2012/o ct/01/ museum-gallery-visit or-figures-england-d ata Currently 21st most popular in England according to the Department of Culture figures.... angry bradfordian
  • Score: 0

3:14pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Cooperlane2 says...

The worst scenario would be for the most capable people to jump ship, leaving the time-servers behind to see a slow demise. We all know who they are in our own companies.
The worst scenario would be for the most capable people to jump ship, leaving the time-servers behind to see a slow demise. We all know who they are in our own companies. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Mon 10 Dec 12

cheeky1 says...

The place is only about a stones throw away from the big puddle....in fact you can see it from there.Did all the people (or some of the visitors) who came to splash in that not make a detour to the museum while in Bradford...
The place is only about a stones throw away from the big puddle....in fact you can see it from there.Did all the people (or some of the visitors) who came to splash in that not make a detour to the museum while in Bradford... cheeky1
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Mon 10 Dec 12

bcfc1903 says...

More sinister goings on regarding Bradford....some of the stuff recently beggars belief. I hope i'm wrong but the moving of the archives isn't a good sign. I'll be taking the family to see the Hobbit in 3D at the Imax ...which we've been to many times(IMAX) and really is superb. I believe the making of the Odeon building into a world class Concert and conference centre really is a must for the well being of the city. Got to say that when Mr Philpott left the Media Museum a couple of years ago i did feel there seemed to be more to him going than met the eye. Hopefully for the well being of the city it is just a money saving scheme. The fact that the BBC is shutting it's studio makes no sense what so ever, how can it not have a studio in the fourth biggest district in the country. Some odd and possibly sinister goings on regarding our great city.
More sinister goings on regarding Bradford....some of the stuff recently beggars belief. I hope i'm wrong but the moving of the archives isn't a good sign. I'll be taking the family to see the Hobbit in 3D at the Imax ...which we've been to many times(IMAX) and really is superb. I believe the making of the Odeon building into a world class Concert and conference centre really is a must for the well being of the city. Got to say that when Mr Philpott left the Media Museum a couple of years ago i did feel there seemed to be more to him going than met the eye. Hopefully for the well being of the city it is just a money saving scheme. The fact that the BBC is shutting it's studio makes no sense what so ever, how can it not have a studio in the fourth biggest district in the country. Some odd and possibly sinister goings on regarding our great city. bcfc1903
  • Score: 0

6:41pm Mon 10 Dec 12

budbabe says...

Bradford Council's role and lack of developments should also be brought to task yet again lack of attendance to the NMM is surely directly linked to Bradford image and attractiveness of the destination for visitors - tourism was the heart of policy for Bradford over a decade ago - we now have leisure led cultural services who can't even organise 10k races!

there was talk of a walk way link from city pool directly to the Museum - this would help flow of visitors from events to the museum - does anyone know what happened to that?
Bradford Council's role and lack of developments should also be brought to task yet again lack of attendance to the NMM is surely directly linked to Bradford image and attractiveness of the destination for visitors - tourism was the heart of policy for Bradford over a decade ago - we now have leisure led cultural services who can't even organise 10k races! there was talk of a walk way link from city pool directly to the Museum - this would help flow of visitors from events to the museum - does anyone know what happened to that? budbabe
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Joedavid says...

budbabe wrote:
Bradford Council's role and lack of developments should also be brought to task yet again lack of attendance to the NMM is surely directly linked to Bradford image and attractiveness of the destination for visitors - tourism was the heart of policy for Bradford over a decade ago - we now have leisure led cultural services who can't even organise 10k races!

there was talk of a walk way link from city pool directly to the Museum - this would help flow of visitors from events to the museum - does anyone know what happened to that?
The cost we were given for the Park to be was an enormous £24k which had an overspend yet to be declared, so I guess that is why your walk way not provided.
[quote][p][bold]budbabe[/bold] wrote: Bradford Council's role and lack of developments should also be brought to task yet again lack of attendance to the NMM is surely directly linked to Bradford image and attractiveness of the destination for visitors - tourism was the heart of policy for Bradford over a decade ago - we now have leisure led cultural services who can't even organise 10k races! there was talk of a walk way link from city pool directly to the Museum - this would help flow of visitors from events to the museum - does anyone know what happened to that?[/p][/quote]The cost we were given for the Park to be was an enormous £24k which had an overspend yet to be declared, so I guess that is why your walk way not provided. Joedavid
  • Score: 0

7:58pm Mon 10 Dec 12

bcfc1903 says...

I believe the figures for folk visiting the Media museum have been climbing over the last two years with a total of over 500,000 for the last 12 months. That being a 9% increase on the year before.
I believe the figures for folk visiting the Media museum have been climbing over the last two years with a total of over 500,000 for the last 12 months. That being a 9% increase on the year before. bcfc1903
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Mon 10 Dec 12

justjustice says...

The problem is that in order to get more people visiting this museum is that you have to get more people to visit Bradford.

But what exactly has Bradford got to offer? Ghettos filled with troubled asian youth. drug dealing but the same asian youths, and anti-social behavior by yet again the same asian youths!
One would begin to think that the asian youth are being let down by society...Which is of course obvious due to the high levels of unemployment, which everyone is suffering from, but as usual not more so than ethnic minorities.

So what does Bradford have to offer people, apart from the Hole?!
The problem is that in order to get more people visiting this museum is that you have to get more people to visit Bradford. But what exactly has Bradford got to offer? Ghettos filled with troubled asian youth. drug dealing but the same asian youths, and anti-social behavior by yet again the same asian youths! One would begin to think that the asian youth are being let down by society...Which is of course obvious due to the high levels of unemployment, which everyone is suffering from, but as usual not more so than ethnic minorities. So what does Bradford have to offer people, apart from the Hole?! justjustice
  • Score: 0

6:46am Tue 11 Dec 12

alfucham says...

without doubt a gem of a place.

far better to watch the big films on imax than at a multiplex.

More big films will get the numbers up.

10 years back my daughter was four and we were always there for the big films on imax.

Then about 4 years ago they became less frequent.

A tremendous place all the same.

To think the building housing it was one big white elephant (lesson there all you who say build westfield when half the rest of the city looks empty)for ten years after being built by Wardley and Poulson

And then the Alhambra was scheduled for demolition before 9 million rescued it.

Now the Odeon has been reprieved time the council had better start supporting its restoration for the much needed music venue.

Whatever happened to famous bands playing St Georges Hall.

The seventies I saw ossie and Black Sabbath.Genesis (supporting Lindisfarne)Bowie,Fr
ee,
we could go on and on.

Do they all miss Bradford out now?
without doubt a gem of a place. far better to watch the big films on imax than at a multiplex. More big films will get the numbers up. 10 years back my daughter was four and we were always there for the big films on imax. Then about 4 years ago they became less frequent. A tremendous place all the same. To think the building housing it was one big white elephant (lesson there all you who say build westfield when half the rest of the city looks empty)for ten years after being built by Wardley and Poulson And then the Alhambra was scheduled for demolition before 9 million rescued it. Now the Odeon has been reprieved time the council had better start supporting its restoration for the much needed music venue. Whatever happened to famous bands playing St Georges Hall. The seventies I saw ossie and Black Sabbath.Genesis (supporting Lindisfarne)Bowie,Fr ee, we could go on and on. Do they all miss Bradford out now? alfucham
  • Score: 0

8:27am Tue 11 Dec 12

bhuna156 says...

So the NMM is currently the 7th most visited museum in the UK outside of London.....
So it's more the running costs that is the issue than the actual visitor numbers.

It sounds like they're taking sensible approaches to bring the cost per head down so this is promising.
So the NMM is currently the 7th most visited museum in the UK outside of London..... So it's more the running costs that is the issue than the actual visitor numbers. It sounds like they're taking sensible approaches to bring the cost per head down so this is promising. bhuna156
  • Score: 0

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