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Heritage Lottery Fund awards £4.85 million for the National Museum of Scotland
Assistant Curator Alison Patterson with the world's oldest pneumatic bicycle tyre. Photo: © National Museums Scotland.

EDINBURGH.- The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced its support to implement the next phase of the Masterplan to transform the National Museum of Scotland. The award of a *First Round pass for a grant of £4.85 million towards a £11.85 million project will enable National Museums to create eight new galleries to showcase its internationally important Science and Technology and European Art and Design collections.

Following a detailed reappraisal of the Science and Technology and European Art and Design collections, eight innovative new exhibition galleries will be created. Around 75% of the objects in the galleries will be going on display for the first time for a generation or more. The displays will include major internationally important items and will champion excellence and innovation, offering an inspirational resource for the scientists, engineers, artists and designers of tomorrow.

The magnificent tea service created for the Emperor Napoleon in connection with his marriage in 1810, a decorative charger by the Art and Crafts ceramicist William de Morgan, the world’s first pneumatic bicycle tyre invented by John Boyd Dunlop in 1888 and the Nobel Prize gold medal awarded to Sir James Black for the discovery of beta blockers and anti-ulcer drugs are just a selection from the outstanding collections which will be displayed in the new galleries.

The public response to the recent transformation of the National Museum of Scotland has been amazing with well in excess of 2 million visitors flocking through the doors since it re-opened last summer. Building on this success, the new galleries will increase the permanent gallery provision devoted to these collections, displaying the very best they have to offer. The new galleries will feature dramatic design, multimedia and interactivity.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland commented, “We are absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded funding for the next stage in our Masterplan for the National Museum of Scotland. This grant will enable us to move forward in creating a further eight new galleries, opening up access for everybody to our outstanding National Collections of science and European art. The National Museum of Scotland is already one of the world’s great museums. This investment will further enhance its appeal and international importance.”

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The transformation of the National Museum of Scotland has been a runaway success, surpassing all expectations. It has rekindled peoples’ interest in our history and heritage with millions enjoying the fascinating artefacts on display. HLF is delighted to give its initial support to a project which will build on this triumph bringing many more of Scotland’s treasures out of storage and on public display for the first time.”

National Museums Scotland will now work with individuals, trusts, foundations and the corporate sector to secure the remaining funds to complete the next phase of this ambitious and important project.

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