Museum breaks through half-million visitor barrier

Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, Bradford’s National Science & Media Museum attraction welcomed 505,000 visits, compared to 405,000 for the same period in 2016/17—a 25% increase, year-on-year.

Highlights from the past 12 months include the museum re-branding to focus on the science and culture of image and sound technology, opening a new permanent gallery—Wonderlab—and exhibiting Tim Peake’s spacecraft.

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. It is an ongoing process, but we couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to our new chapter.

“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.”

The museum’s programme for 2018 includes the major summer family exhibition Action Replay, an interactive exploration of the link between broadcasting technology in Britain and sports. From the earliest television and radio outside broadcasts, to the introduction of colour TV for the 1967 Wimbledon championships, and right up to current innovations such as ‘Ref Cams’, Action Replay will feature some of the key technological advancements that have been bringing fans closer to the sports they love over the past century.

Also in the summer, the museum will again organise the Bradford Science Festival, which last year saw 35,000 people engage with science-themed activities delivered by numerous partners and other organisations across the city centre.

In the long term the museum continues to focus on Sound and Vision, a major permanent gallery which will showcase the treasures of its collection—history-making objects that have changed how people see the world, from the first movie camera and some of the earliest photography and television equipment, to the explosion in internet streaming and social media.

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London. The museum explores the science and culture of image and sound technologies, creating special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the museum is free.