THE National Science and Media Museum welcomed 100,000 more visitors this year than the previous year, new figures have revealed.

The 505,000 visits to the Bradford city centre museum meant that the 2017/18 financial year was its busiest 12 month period since 2009.

The museum’s multi million pound Wonderlab attraction, which opened last year, and a re-branding from the National Media Museum to the National Science and Media Museum have been credited with the 25 per cent rise in visitor numbers.

Just a few years ago the museum’s future was uncertain. In 2016 it was revealed that visitor numbers had dropped by 40 per cent from 2008 to 2016. It led to a successful local campaign to save the museum from closure, and its owners, the Science Museum Group, deciding on a major rebranding.

It opened with its new name and multi million pound Wonderlab last Spring.

Last year the Telegraph & Argus reported that in the period between April and December 2017 alone, visitor numbers had risen by 33 per cent. It was during this period that the Wonderlab opened and the museum welcomed Tim Peake’s Soyuz capsule for several weeks.

Director Jo Quinton-Tulloch said: “We’re delighted that our hard work over recent years, which culminated in the launch of our new brand last March, along with a packed programme of new events and activities, has been so well received.

“We’ve worked more closely with colleagues in the Science Museum Group, our partners in the district and beyond, and we’ve listened to our visitors. As a result we now have a solid foundation for the future, and we’ve demonstrated the appetite for a dynamic, science-focused attraction here in the heart of Bradford. It hasn’t been an easy road to get to this point, but hopefully these figures show that we’re set for success in the long run. Rest assured we won’t be sitting back now.”

She told the Telegraph & Argus: “This is obviously a significant increase for us. In particular we have seen a lot more families visiting. We now have a very strong offer for children and families. With the gallery in the Wonderlab we can refresh things every few weeks.

“The new name led to what I call a reboot of the museum. I do think there was an increase because of the name change. We worked very hard on becoming a lot more visible in the city. We tried to really re-assert ourselves as an important venue in Bradford. We’ve got a really rich programme and we are working very closely with local communities to find ways to create new displays and exhibitions.”