The forthcoming government cuts to the Science Museum Group's (SMG) annual funding will have a massive impact on the daily running of four of the UK's most visited Museums. Led by the Science Museum in London, the SMG also includes the National Railway Museum in York, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the National Media Museum in Bradford.
Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group has stated that a further 10% cut in funding in the next round of government spending proposals meant "almost certainly" one museum would shut.
The National Railway Museum is the largest railway museum in the world and is one of the most important educational facilities in the country, educating young and old on the history and future of the railways and their impact on science, technology and social change. York is a beautiful city with a very rich heritage including a well known connection with the railway industry. Tourism is at the heart of York's city economy and attracts visitors from around the world. Having a National Museum in York City Centre is a vital aspect of York's appeal to potential visitors. The idea that the National Railway Museum should close is ridiculous.
I, like many people from many generations, have visited the NRM and have been engaged in the social history of Britain and the impact that the railways have had on wider developments in science and industry, both locally in York and it's greater impact on the world. To close down an education facility so vital to our understanding of technological advancements would be depriving future generations of an engaging place to learn about the role of the North in the Social, Industrial and Scientific changes to the world.