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Media Museum secures funding to develop plans for Sound and Vision galleries

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford has announced that it has received initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to begin the development of its ambitious Sound and Vision galleries and accompanying activity programme.

Sound and Vision will inspire one of the UK’s youngest, most diverse, and fastest-growing cities by providing wider access to iconic, world-class collections of photography, radio, film, TV, sound and digital technologies—from the world’s first moving image to the advent of the digital age. Created in close consultation with local communities, the galleries will make the museum the cultural cornerstone of many key projects including Bradford’s bid to be the City of Culture in 2025, the city’s culture strategy Culture is Our Plan, and the commitment to building a digital economy.

The initial first pass grant of £318,963 has been awarded for the development phase of the project, with the museum due to submit its second-round application next year to fund the delivery stage of the project. If the museum is successful in its second-round application, it will be awarded more than £3 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund towards the delivery of the £6 million Sound and Vision project.

Commenting on this significant milestone, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Director of the National Science and Media Museum, said: “We are thrilled that The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded us this enormous opportunity to bring our world class collections to life in new and exciting ways. By working collaboratively with our local audiences, we will explore the relevance and impact of image and audio technology throughout history, connecting the museum’s collections not only to this global communications age, but also directly to our home city. The project will give us the vital opportunity to realise the Science Museum Group’s mission of making STEM education open for all, helping to close some of the disparities caused by the pandemic and providing fantastic opportunities for our communities.”

Sound and Vision will re-energise Bradford’s cultural offer through three distinct focus areas: the internationally significant Science Museum Group collection; STEM; and working collaboratively, increasing participation with the collection. The development of the new galleries will explore key stories which are relevant to all our lives, including the creation of the world’s first photograph; Louis Le Prince’s ground-breaking work in moving images and film; and the forgotten pioneer of the pixel who created the building blocks of digital photography.

Sound and Vision will engage visitors in STEM by uncovering the science behind the everyday, showing that science is relevant to everything we do. The project will also work with local communities through a detailed activity plan, including opportunities to collect community stories, inspiring more people to reimagine their relationship with STEM and support them with opportunities for employment and upskilling, and responding to Culture is Our Plan, the culture strategy for Bradford.

During the project’s development phase, the museum will continue to consult and engage with the wider community, as well as setting up an Access Panel and Youth Forum for specific consultation. Development of the Sound and Vision gallery interpretation and design brief will commence, alongside audience research, staff training and volunteering opportunities. A number of new posts will also be recruited to join the project team, and the museum will be piloting new learning programmes to complement the activity plan.

More information about Sound and Vision will be made available on the National Science and Media Museum website. You can also follow the latest updates on the National Science and Media Museum’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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