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Science Museum

The Science Museum Group is delighted to announce that a planning application to build a major new collections management facility at the National Collections Centre, its Wroughton site, has been approved today. This ambitious project will transform how the Group manages, cares for and shares its world-leading collection.

Jonathan Newby, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Science Museum Group said, “This is a hugely important step towards our goal of transforming the way we care for and share the extraordinary objects in our collection. We are very grateful to Swindon Borough Council, Wroughton Parish Council and all the local people who came forward to support this project, and we look forward to starting construction of the facility next year.”

Once completed, the facility will open regularly to the public through a varied programme of tours, learning and research visits. The building will cover a footprint of 26,000 square metres (approximately four football pitches) and provide space to look after more than 340,000 objects from the Science Museum Group collection. The building is designed to blend in with its environment, and facilities inside will include storage halls, conservation laboratories, research spaces and photography studios. 

Objects from the Science Museum Group collection will be stored, researched and prepared in the new facility before they go on display across the Group’s family of museums: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon, and on loan to other museums in the UK and around the world.

A strong design team has helped develop the plans, including:

·    Pegasus (planning consultants)
·    GWP Architecture (architects)
·    Feasibility (project management)
·    Atkins (structural and civil engineering)
·    DESCO (building services engineering)

The facility will form the centre piece of the Science Museum Group National Collections Centre. Work on the building will start early in 2019, with the first Science Museum Group collection objects arriving in 2020. The Group is now seeking a Principal Contractor to develop the design and construct the building. 

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Note to editors

For further information please contact:

Julia Murray, Science Museum Press Office, 020 7942 4328 or email Julia.murray@sciencemuseum.ac.uk 
Matt Moore, Head of the National Collections Centre, 01793 846 229 or email matt.moore@sciencemuseum.ac.uk 

About the Science Museum Group 
The Science Museum Group is the world’s leading group of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. We share the stories of innovations and people that shaped our world and are transforming the future, constantly reinterpreting our diverse collection. 

Standout objects include the record-breaking locomotive Flying Scotsman, Richard Arkwright’s textile machinery, Alan Turing’s Pilot ACE computer and the earliest surviving recording of British television. Our mission is to inspire futures - igniting curiosity among people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, our museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while our touring exhibition programme brings our creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe. More information can be found at group.sciencemuseum.org.uk.