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Bradford's National Science and Media Museum to open during City of Culture year

Artist impression of new museum - courtesy of Science Museum Group

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford will now open in two phases in 2025 following "unforeseen delays" during its £6m Sound and Vision capital redevelopment, according to the Museums Association.

The museum, which is part of the Science Museum Group, was due to open this summer with two new permanent galleries, an improved entrance area and new passenger lift.

However, during the lift's excavation contractors discovered an unexpected make-up of ground that has led to delays.

As a result, the museum will now reopen to visitors at the start of Bradford’s City of Culture year, with the new Sound and Vision galleries launching later in 2025.

“While the impact of this delay in the short term is frustrating, our Sound and Vision project will future proof the museum for decades to come,” said Jo Quinton-Tulloch, the director of the National Science and Media Museum. “Our new Sound and Vision galleries will completely transform the museum’s visitor offer by showcasing our incredible collections and ensuring visitors can find stories that resonate with them.”

Designed by AOC (Agents of Change), the new galleries will showcase the museum’s core collection and examine the impact of sound and image technologies on our lives through four key themes: Innovation, Identities, Storytelling and Everywhere.

The museum has shared some of the designs that can be expected when it reopens next year, including an interactive space with ‘sound showers’, a mixing desk and dance floor to evoke the shared experience and thrill of live performances and gigs. Elsewhere, the artist Nayan Kulkarni has been commissioned to create an interactive installation called Circus, where visitors will enter a “chamber of mirrors” room filled with a captured live feed of themselves.

“Our new gallery designs reveal how the spaces will be dynamic, interactive and inspiring, underlining how all areas of our collection from photography to videogaming are embedded in every aspect of our lives,” said Quinton-Tulloch.

“Visitors will be able to see the first ever photographic image, have a go at being a sound engineer, step inside the studio of a local radio station and enter a live art installation. We’ve also worked closely with local communities to ensure we’re telling stories that are relevant to Bradford, showcasing the creativity and diversity of our home city. We look forward to welcoming visitors back into the museum and into our new Sound and Vision galleries in 2025.”


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