On Friday 8 July 2016, ten major new galleries and a splendid new piazza opened at the National Museum of Scotland in celebration of the Museum’s 150th anniversary. This was the latest phase of the Masterplan to transform the Museum. A £14·1 million investment in state-of-the-art galleries has enabled us to put objects on display for the first time for generations, reveal our collections in new ways and significantly increase interactivity and engagement.
At Easter, the visitor experience at the National Museum of Flight was transformed with the restoration of two Second World War hangars and the creation of vibrant and engaging displays to enhance dramatically the presentation of our outstanding aviation collections.
We have also embarked on the fourth and final phase of our 15 year Masterplan for the transformation of the National Museum of Scotland with two new galleries due to open in 2018/19 which will provide new insights into our internationally important Ancient Egypt and East Asia collections.
We continue to be very active in communities across Scotland, working with a wide range of partner museums and other organisations to share our collections, knowledge and expertise. Key aims have included boosting the profile and capacity of local museums, increasing their visitor numbers and inspiring audiences. Working with partners enables us to maximise our resources and reach new audiences across Scotland, the UK and internationally.
We continue to work to diversify our audience through imaginative programming and developing new ways of engaging traditionally ‘hard to reach’ groups.
Our new Strategic Plan prioritises expanding our online footprint through innovative digital partnerships, web developments and a wide-ranging presence on social media platforms. This year we have created digital experiences to support our new developments, grow our social media following and help a broader range of people connect with our collections wherever they are.
Our unusually diverse collection is an important international resource – historically, culturally and intellectually. Through the further development of the National Museums Collection Centre, we are significantly improving access to our collections for research, conservation and learning.
Looking forward, our new Strategic Plan 2016–20 – which follows over a decade of successive investment in our collections, our museums and our visitors – aims to take us to a higher level. It reflects our continued drive to delight and inspire our visitors, to invest in our historic buildings and to research, exhibit and share our collections.
Header image: Accelerating cavity from the CERN Large Electron Positron Collider, in the Enquire gallery.