Yorkshire's major museums awarded government funding to preserve their collections for future generations

The Royal Armouries, National Museum of Science and Media in Bradford and Wakefield's National Coal Mining Museum have been awarded a share of a £60million government funding pot.

National Railway Museum, York
National Railway Museum, York

The cash will go towards essential maintenance work delayed by the pandemic at museums and galleries across the country to allow them to welcome visitors back.

The Royal Armouries in Leeds and the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford will both use their Culture Recovery Fund grants to improve accessibility for those with impaired mobility. A new Changing Places toilet will be opened at the Armouries and the NSMS will reconfigure its entrances and modernise lifts.

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The National Railway Musesum in York's share will go towards decarbonisation projects such as LED lighting upgrades, roof insulation and new glazing.

Royal Armouries director general Dr Edward Impey said: "We are delighted to be able to invest a substantial sum in the infrastructure of the Royal Armouries Museum at Leeds. One of the improvements this makes possible is the installation of a Changing Places toilet, a gold standard facility for the use of people with severe disabilities, including those with profound and multiple learning difficulties. This will not only be of value to visitors and provide a public service during opening hours, but encourage more people to visit the museum and explore Leeds Dock and the South Bank area of Leeds city centre.”

The Science Museum Group's acting director Jonathan Newby added: “This government funding is vital to our work to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure our museums are accessible and welcoming to everyone who visits. Investment in our infrastructure underpins the inspiring experiences we offer in our museums; the platform lifts being replaced at the National Science and Media Museum were part of an award-winning approach to accessibility when installed two decades ago, but aren’t suitable for some modern wheelchairs.”