OWNERS of the National Media Museum are staying tight-lipped about a planned name-change - for now.

A Freedom of Information request to reveal the potential new names under consideration. has been refused.

The museum changed its name from the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television to the National Media Museum in 2006.

But earlier this year, museum bosses revealed they were considering changing its name again, to reflect a new focus on science and technology.

The revelation caused concern that the word ‘national’ could be dropped from its title altogether. There were rumours that one of the names being considered was Science Museum North - which the museum hastily ruled out.


In March, a spokesman said the museum was in the process of consulting with groups and stakeholders from Bradford about the name - a process that was expected to take a further 12 months - and would be “testing various options” including options that retained the word ‘national’.

The T&A asked for the museum to reveal the names being considered, as well as full details of the consultation process and any responses so far. But the museum’s parent group, the Science Museum Group, declined.

A spokesman said some information would be available at a later date, but sharing the names under discussion at this stage would “prejudice the commercial interests of the Science Museum Group”.

He said releasing the information “would inhibit the free and frank provision of advice and the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation”.

“Having considered the public interest, our decision is to withhold the information,” he added.

“This is because at this stage, the withholding of this information would be more in the public’s interest than to release it.

“We are keen to ensure a sustainable future for the Museum and changing the Museum’s name is part of this project and so it is imperative that we consider all options fully before sharing the requested information.”

Three years ago, fears emerged that the Science Museum Group was planning to close the museum, which led to a huge public campaign to save it.

Earlier this year, plans to transfer the world-renowned Royal Photographic Society collection to the Victoria and Albert museum in London sparked another outcry, but failed to force a U-turn.

Senior councillor Simon Cooke,who has been one of the most vocal critics of some of the Science Museum Group’s recent decisions, urged museum bosses to consult fully with the public once a short-list of names was ready.

The Conservative group leader said: “It is absolutely imperative that it remains a national museum, however they go about badging that. That is critical to anything.

“Perhaps there is a case for looking at the name but we have got to try and capture the history and tradition of the museum, which I think was perhaps lost a little when it changed its name to the Media Museum.”