Leeds, York and Bradford attractions receive piece of £60m pie

National Science and Media Museum
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Museums, galleries and heritage organisations have been awarded £60m to ensure nationally important museum collections and heritages assets are protected for future generations.

The funding has been awarded to hundreds of projects nationwide and will be used to increase accessibility at attractions including the Royal Armouries in Leeds and the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford.

This latest round of funding builds upon the previously announced £2bn which has been invested in the arts, heritage and cultural sectors through the Culture Recovery Fund.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We’ve given £60 million to safeguard the priceless collections and heritage at many of our beloved cultural institutions so they can be enjoyed by future generations. This builds on our £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund, ensuring that we continue to protect our heritage and culture throughout this pandemic and are able to open up our historic institutions for everyone to enjoy this summer.”

Funding has also been awarded to public bodies to help their efforts to hit net-zero targets, with decarbonisation projects being funded at the Science Museum Group sites in Manchester and York.

The Royal Armouries in Leeds £1.1 million grant is being used to build a changing places toilet that will open up facilities at the museum for people who have complex needs. The new facilities will include generous space for wheelchair users and allow space for users to be accompanied by carers and height adjustable wash basins and changing benches.

The Bradford-based National Science and Media Museum (part of the Science Museum Group) will receive a share of more than £350,000 alongside the Museum of the Home to reconfigure entrances and modernise lifts to make both sites more accessible.

Jonathan Newby, The Science Museum Group’s acting director and chief executive said: “This government funding is vital to our work to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure our museums are accessible and welcoming to everyone who visits. Investment in our infrastructure underpins the inspiring experiences we offer in our museums; the platform lifts being replaced at the National Science and Media Museum were part of an award-winning approach to accessibility when installed two decades ago, but aren’t suitable for some modern wheelchairs.”

Dr Edward Impey, director general and master of the armouries said: “We are delighted to be able to invest a substantial sum in the infrastructure of the Royal Armouries Museum at Leeds. One of the improvements this makes possible is the installation of a ‘Changing Places’ toilet, a gold standard facility for the use of people with severe disabilities, including those with profound and multiple learning difficulties. This will not only be of value to visitors and provide a public service during opening hours, but encourage more people to visit the museum and explore Leeds Dock and the South Bank area of Leeds city centre.”