National Media Museum to be saved, signals Government
June 18, 2013
The news follows public anger at the potential closure of the Bradford-based museum, sparking campaigns for its survival in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, bosses claimed that one of the museums in the Science Museum Group, to which the NMM belongs, would be forced to close if the government cuts a further 10% of its funds as part of the spending review, to be announced next week.
The NMM holds 3.5 million items in its historic collection, including the oldest surviving negative created by British photography inventor William Henry Fox Talbot.
The group also runs the Science Museum; the National Railway Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey today told BBC York: ‘They [the Science Museum Group] asserted if there was a certain level of cuts they would have to look at closing one…
‘They are not going to receive those level of cuts so there is no reason why any of these museums should close.’
Instead, museums nationwide face a 5% cut in funding, according to reports.
The museum, formerly known as the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television says it has received ‘overwhelming support’ from MPs, local councils and the public.
In a statement, the NMM added: ‘We await confirmation of the actual details of the funding package and clearly, until these are received, we cannot be certain about the level of structural deficit we face and which options will have to be considered.’
Vaizey’s remarks to the BBC have been confirmed to Amateur Photographer by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
A DCMS spokesman added: ‘This is an operational issue for the Science Museum Group [which] has to address a large projected operating deficit from 2014 onwards and is assessing a range of options to address this situation.
‘The Chancellor will shortly set out the Government’s spending plans for 2015/2016, however, we are clear about the value of the museums in question to the local areas and the UK as a whole.’
The NMM recently acquired an archive of 5,000 contemporary photos from the Impressions Gallery, which is also located in Bradford.