National Media Museum bosses have expressed disappointment after visitor numbers fell 18%...

National Media Museum (NMM) bosses have expressed disappointment after visitor numbers fell 18% last year compared to the year before.

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The drop came despite a 10.9% overall rise in visitors to UK tourist attractions, according to figures released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.

The museum, which is based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, pulled in 613,923 visitors during 2009.

The NMM attributed the downturn to ?stay-at-home holidaymakers? shunning the museum in favour of destinations such as the coast and nearby cities like York.

The NMM?s director Colin Philpott said: ?Maintaining growth in visitors numbers is a challenge for any attraction and we have not had a major new gallery opening since Experience TV in 2006.?

He added: ?As important as visitor figures are, the museum is dong extremely well in terms of other measures of success. Survey results show that our visitor satisfaction rates remain consistently high.?

Considered to be Britain’s flagship photography institution, the NMM holds an historic collection of photographs, including the oldest surviving negative created by British photography inventor William Henry Fox Talbot.

Last year the NMM appointed a creative director for its ‘future London Galleries’.

At the time it said that a presence in London will enable it to bring its exhibitions programme and items from its collection to a ‘wider audience’.

The museum said it hopes to be in a position to open its London galleries in 2011/12, subject to ?fundraising and government approval?.

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