British photographic history

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National Media Museum visitor numbers continue to fall

As in past years BPH is able to report the latest Association of Leading Visitor Attractions visitor numbers survey (see: http://www.alva.org.uk/details.cfm?p=423&year=2011). The National Media Museum, Bradford, saw visitors of 446,668 a fall of 7.6% compared to 2010.

In summary recent visitor numbers for the museum have been: 

2011 - 486,668

2010 - 526,914

2009 - 613,923

The National Museum of Science and Industry's Annual Report for 2011 reports an attendance for 2010-11 of 502,000 visitors, 19% down against 2009–10 and 25% lower than the five-year average. The Report comments: 'The reduction was mainly due to a big drop in people watching full-length IMAX films (partly because of the films available but also because there was a month-long closure of IMAX following the discovery of a leaking roof), continuing disruption in the city centre with the construction of a new city centre park and some exceptionally warm weather in the spring. However, it also brings into sharp relief the need to make improvements to the day-today programme and to accelerate the refreshing of galleries.' See: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1012/hc12/1238/1238...

The numbers for 2012 should see an improvement with the opening of the Life Online gallery and more accessible and critically acclaimed exhibitions notably In the Blink of an Eye (extended until 14 October 2012). In addition the issues cited as reasons for the decline over 2010-11 have all been resolved.

The decline in visitor numbers suggests that the new Head of museum with her senior management team will need to focus on the Bradford site as well as the new London Media Space presence which is due to open in March 2013.

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