Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group, has been awarded a knighthood for ‘services to cultural education’ in the New Year Honours list, which recognises the achievements of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.
Dame Mary Archer, Chair of the Science Museum Group, said: “This is wonderful and well-deserved recognition of Sir Ian’s dynamic leadership of the world’s most significant science museum group. Under Sir Ian, the group has grown in size and reputation, led the way in sharing star museum objects around the country, delivered Europe’s largest informal education programme and embarked on pioneering work to open up its collection to the public through digitisation and ambitious plans for its National Collections Centre near Swindon. Sir Ian has also transformed the group’s global standing, not least through a portfolio of touring exhibitions which have reached millions of people worldwide.”
Sir Ian, who holds an MA in Renaissance Studies, was appointed Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group from 1 November 2010 and combined this with the role of Director of the Science Museum from December 2010. The Group comprises the Science Museum, London, the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester, Locomotion in County Durham and the National Railway Museum, York.
Sir Ian’s current priorities include Vision 2025, an ambitious plan to establish the York museum as the world’s greatest railway museum by 2025 to mark its 50th anniversary and the 200th of the world’s first passenger steam railway, the Stockton and Darlington Railway. In London, Sir Ian’s stewardship has already transformed well over half of the Science Museum, while the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford rebooted last year with a renewed focus on science and a stunning new interactive gallery, Wonderlab, that helped drive a 25% increase in visitor numbers. The Science Museum Group has grown to five museums during Sir Ian’s time at the helm. In 2012, Sir Ian welcomed the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester (then known as MOSI) into the Group, an expansion that continued last year with the full transfer to the Group of Locomotion in County Durham.
Previously Sir Ian was Deputy Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London from December 2004, having joined the museum in April 2002 as Director of Finance & Resources. He started his career in the City, working at the Bank of England and the merchant bankers Barclays de Zoete Wedd, before then joining the Arts Council, where he was Deputy Finance Director. He then joined the marketing and design agency Cricket Communications as Financial Controller before becoming Director of Finance at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1996.
Sir Ian read law at Mansfield College, Oxford. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. In April 2017 he became Chairman of the National Museum Directors’ Council, the first time that the Director of the Science Museum Group has held this key role. Sir Ian is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and was awarded the Pushkin Medal in 2015.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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