£19m investment to create ‘museums of the future’

Funding | Leisure & Tourism | South East

Museum exhibits could soon be viewed in people’s homes, libraries and schools as part of a new £19m government-backed programme.

The initiative could revolutionise the way visitors can interact with our cultural collections by placing visitors at the heart of exhibits and helping design novel technology and digital tools. These include augmented and virtual reality, sound and interactive exhibits, creating sensory and emotional experiences for visitors.

This programme will build on the UK’s reputation as a major tourist destination and leading light in innovative research, creating new possibilities and innovations for museum storytelling and opening up the public’s imagination by bringing together entire collections together online.

UK museums attract millions of visitors every month, while government-sponsored museums make up seven of the 10 most visited free attractions in the country. The new programme could eventually see art and culture made fully accessible to everyone, with digitisation of cultural collections allowing people across the country to enjoy Britain’s national collections from the comfort of their own home. This could expand cultural treasures to those in remote areas and help local museums – large and small – to engage visitors with innovative, immersive experiences.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “Museums can be the perfect fusion between the sciences and the arts, with the creative sector and the humanities working together with new technologies to change how we can experience culture. Creating more ways of seeing and engaging with the treasure trove of experiences available at museums and exhibitions of all kinds means that we are at the forefront of designing the museums of the future.

“The government is determined to build on this reputation by investing through programmes like this to expand access to our cultural riches. This cutting-edge programme will help UK museums engage visitors with innovative new immersive experiences – as well as supercharging knowledge-sharing within our world-leading research sector.”

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