Tuesday 11 June 2013

Save the National Media Museum!

It's no surprise that this government is reaching new depths of cultural suicide, yet even I am shocked by this latest round of bedevilment. The budget for the science museum is to be cut again, and it is the Northern outposts which are to bear the brunt.

The 'Science Museum Group' runs three museums outside of London, Bradford's National Media Museum, The National Railway Museum in York and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. SMG director Ian Blatchford has warned that a further cut of 10% from the government will mean that one has to close. He has also indicated that the National Media Museum is the weakest link, and some have suggested that the museum ought to be located in London.

London is not England, the South East is not the United Kingdom, and this government should not continue to rule as if the North of this country can quietly go to ruin. Cities like Bradford need cultural centres and hubs, as they do huge amounts for local commerce, education and confidence.

When I left the South East to look at where to study, it was the National Media Museum that stood out for me on my visit to the University of Bradford. I loved film, and here on my doorstep was an amazing cinema, an Imax screen, and a wide range of exhibitions relating to media, news and photography. I thought it was marvellous, and was one of the pulls (along with the curries!) that kept me in the city for 20 years after my studies had finished.

Central government needs to invest more in the sciences throughout the land, and regional museums in Manchester, York and Bradford are vital to the prosperity of these cities. Today, a parliamentary enquiry has been announced into the threat of closure hanging over these museums, and let us hope that sense is seen, and our government returns to a long-term view of our education and our economy. Now is the time to show your support for these institutional bedrocks of culture and civilisation.

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