Last year, Direct Access worked with the National Railway Museum (now called ‘Locomotion’), making a series of accessibility recommendations that are part of the established infrastructure of the site.

We are thrilled to announce that these recommendations will now feed into their new building plans, whereby Locomotion will ask the public and visitors to have their say for a new £5.9 million collection building. The museum, based at Shildon, is displaying the plans at a free exhibition from 19 January until 23 January. This will give people a chance to see the plans before they are sent for planning approval later this year.

Shildon was the terminus of the Stockton & Darlington Railway when it opened in 1825. It was the first public railway in the world and now homes the Locomotion museum, celebrating the great history of this iconic site. On 19 January from 3pm until 7pm there will also be a face-to-face open session, giving people the chance to ask the project team whatever questions they might have about the proposals.

The key aim of the proposal is to reinvigorate the site into an even more significant tourist attraction and to showcase the cultural heritage of County Durham, which is gunning for UK City of Culture 2025.

Direct Access is deeply honoured to have played a cog in the reinvigorating of this museum. An expansion of disabled visitors is a win-win situation for both the Science Museum Group and the people of Durham who will have greater access to the new facilities as well as the education and rich history the site has to offer.

Furthermore, the National Railway Museum in York has submitted a ‘reserved matters’ planning application for a new Central Hall. This Central Hall is intended as a new welcome space and gallery which will be located between the museum’s Great Hall and Station Hall. If successful, the new hall will unite the museum buildings and be a cornerstone of Vision 2025 – the museum’s five-year journey to transform its offering and become the World’s Railway Museum. A brand new wonderlab (experimental and interactive play space for young children) will also be a part of this project.

Our Senior Access Consultant, Tom Morgan (pictured above), worked for the wonderlab gallery at the National Media Museum in Bradford and provided guidance throughout the design and build phases of the National Railway Museum in York.

Direct Access continues to collaborate with the Science Museum Group and looks forward to the result of these expansions.

Are you looking to make your site accessible to thousands of disabled people? Feel free to contact us and lay out your specific needs so that we can find improvements to suit your needs or budget. Or alternatively, have a look at our Access Consultancy options. We are here to help, because for us, access is personal.

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