Skip Navigation or Skip to Content

2016 Archive: National Museum of Scotland counts down to galleries opening

Monday 16 February, 2016

National Museums Scotland is counting down to the opening of ten new galleries at the National Museum of Scotland on Friday, 8 July 2016.

National Museums Scotland is counting down to the opening of ten new galleries at the National Museum of Scotland on Friday, 8 July 2016.

The announcement of the opening date heralds a five month countdown during which time museum staff will install over 3,000 objects into four galleries of decorative art, fashion and design and six galleries of science and technology.

The ten new galleries represent the next phase of the ambitious £80 million Masterplan to transform the National Museum of Scotland. They will be completed in the 150th anniversary year of the Victorian building, which first opened in 1866. Display space will increase by over 40%, with 75% of the objects on display not having been seen for at least a generation. The new displays will champion excellence and innovation, offering an inspirational experience for the scientists, engineers, artists and designers of tomorrow.

This £14.1 million project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Government, with £7 million of the costs being raised from Trusts, Foundations and many generous individual donors.

Alongside the announcement of the opening date, National Museums Scotland launched the crucial last phase of its fundraising appeal for the new galleries. This gives the public the opportunity to be part of the final push to secure the money needed to complete the galleries. Donations large and small will help to continue the restoration of the much loved museum building, reveal remarkable hidden treasures from the National Collections, and create inspiring experiences for visitors of all ages.

The fundraising appeal is supported by Patron and long-term supporter of National Museums Scotland, renowned author Alexander McCall Smith, who said:

“I love to write about Edinburgh. It is one of the great cities in the world – rich in history, architecture and culture. And the National Museum of Scotland, situated in the heart of Edinburgh, is a place which connects Scotland to the world and the world to Scotland through stories captured in thousands of remarkable objects. It’s a place which has inspired me and, with the help and generosity of the public, can inspire many more people in years to come.
“This fundraising appeal is the last vital step towards the realisation of a vision which will see ten new galleries brought to life. “

Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland said,

“We are now in the final phase of work as we progress towards opening our new galleries on 8 July. From Dunlop’s first pneumatic tyre to cutting edge scientific discoveries from CERN, the fashion of Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, Dolly the Sheep and Picasso ceramics – we have something to appeal to everyone.”

Further information and images from Susan Gray, Press Office, National Museums Scotland on 0131 247 4088 or email

Or contact Sutton PR: Holly Blaxill on 020 7183 3577 or email

Notes to editors

  1. National Museums Scotland looks after museum collections of national and international importance and provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.
  2. The National Museum of Scotland reopened in summer 2011 following a three-year, £50m redevelopment. With over 8 million visitors since reopening, the National Museum of Scotland is the most popular museum in the country outside of London according to ALVA figures.
  3. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (£4.85 million), the Wellcome Trust (£1.3 million) and the Scottish Government (£ 900,000), with a further £7 million from private sources.
  4. About the Heritage Lottery Fund – Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. Funding for the Bannockburn Centre was made by HLF’s Board who are responsible for awarding grants of over £2million to projects throughout the UK. Grant applications of under £2million are considered by HLF’s Committee for Scotland. To date HLF has invested over £611m in Scotland’s heritage. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, every aspect of Scotland’s heritage has benefited.
  5. The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. It provides more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.
Back to Press archive
Previous story Next story

Latest News

World’s largest Jurassic pterosaur unearthed on Scottish island
A spectacular fossil of a huge flying reptile known as a pterosaur, that was found on the Isle of Skye, is the largest of its kind ever discovered from the Jurassic period.
Find out more
Prayer book inscribed by Mary, Queen of Scots to go on display at the National Museum of Scotland
An illustrated prayer book featuring a poem handwritten by the young Mary, Queen of Scots, is to go on display at the National Museum of Scotland from Thursday 31 March.
Find out more
Galloway Hoard yields another exciting discovery, the name of a Bishop Hyguald inscribed on rare rock crystal jar
A rare rock crystal jar found wrapped in textiles as part of the Galloway Hoard has been conserved, revealing a Latin inscription written in gold. The inscription says the jar was made for a bishop named Hyguald.
Find out more
National Museums Scotland gifted rare collection of 17th century Scottish silver
National Museums Scotland have acquired a trio of exceptionally rare silver objects created in Scotland in the 1600s. The quaich, trumpet bell and mazer are important examples of 17th century Scottish craftsmanship and have been donated to the National Collections by Ron and Rosemary Haggarty.
Find out more
New book gives fresh perspective on Scotland’s Viking-age foundations
Crucible of Nations reveals Medieval Scotland as a melting pot of ideas.
Find out more
Back to top