Science Museum wins £6 million Heritage Lottery Fund support


Science Museum wins £6 million Heritage Lottery Fund support

The Science Museum has received a confirmed award* of £6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a new gallery, Making Modern Communications, it was announced today. Showcasing the Science Museum’s world class collections, Making Modern Communications will tell the story of 200 years of innovation in communication technology and how we connect and share information with each other. The gallery will open in Autumn 2014.

Situated in the heart of the Science Museum, Making Modern Communications will be a dramatic new gallery combining unique objects with human stories. The gallery brings to life moments when the world changed dramatically through the invention of technologies such as the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable; the creation of the first digital electronic computer; the development of mobile communications and the advent of the World Wide Web. The gallery will display around 1000 objects of historical importance, many of which have never been on public display before. For instance visitors will be able to see the six metre high tuning coil from Rugby Radio Station which played a crucial role in Britain’s Cold War defences.

Innovative participatory experiences involving new and increasingly diverse audiences are core to the Gallery development. Africa is leading the way in the development of mobile technology and the Science Museum will be working with the Cameroonian community in London and Africa to tell the stories of how these developments have changed their lives. The Gallery is being designed by the award winning Universal Design Studios. 

The Science Museum receives over 2.9 million visitors every year of which over 400,000 are from schools and educational groups. A dedicated learning programme will support teachers to engage their students in the gallery and beyond. Updateable content will ensure the gallery remains relevant to the 12 million people who visit the Science Museums website each year and access to the collections will be enhanced through online activities.

Ian Blatchford, Director of Science Museum Group said, “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the Science Museum this grant. The project represents a step change for the Science Museum and the first step in the delivery of its Master Plan. The award of the grant underlines the essential role of the Science Museum in helping to inspire engagement, particularly amongst young people.”

Notes to Editors

*A confirmed award means that money had already been earmarked by HLF for the project in question and that the full amount has now been secured.

About the Science Museum
The Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science, engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.7billion across the UK.

For further information, images and interviews, please contact:
Andrea Dearden, Head of Marketing & PR, Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London. SW6 6JS
Tel: 020 7942 4352

Or Nicola Ryan, Senior Press Officer
020 7942 4328