Ambitious plans to transform the National Railway Museum – and place it at the centre of the York Central regeneration – took a huge step forward today.

YorkMix broke the news back in January 2018 of the £50m masterplan for the NRM.

Now the Government has pledged £18.5 million towards that goal.

The grant forms part of a £250m fund for the creative sector announced by Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan. According to her department, the NRM money is for

  • Kickstarting the transformation of the National Railway Museum, including new gallery and exhibition spaces, improved accessibility and the restoration of heritage buildings.

    The museum will become the cultural hub of York Central – the redevelopment of the largest city centre brownfield site in Europe – projected to include 6,500 high-value jobs, and up to 2,500 new homes.

‘Wonderful news’

Director of the National Railway Museum Judith McNicol
Under the NRM masterplan, the two halves of the museum would be united via a new Central Gallery building, as long as Leeman Road is diverted as part of the York Central development.

And a new £5 million Wonderlab gallery would be built, designed to inspire young people to get hands-on and invent their own solutions to engineering challenges.

Director of the National Railway Museum Judith McNicol was, naturally enough, very pleased about the government funding. She said:

  • This is wonderful news for the National Railway Museum – and for the City of York.

    This £18.6m investment by the Government is an extremely significant milestone in realising our £55m Vision 2025 campaign to turn our museum into a truly world-class attraction.

    It is the springboard for unlocking our role as the cultural heartbeat of York Central – one of the most ambitious regeneration projects in Europe.

How South Yard at the NRM might look after the upgrade

They are about half way to that £55m goal now.

In September, YorkMix reported that the NRM had launched a search for an architect who will design its new £16.5m Central Hall.

The deadline for entries is Wednesday (16 October). And if all goes to plan, the new look NRM will be complete and open to the public in 2025 – 50 years after the museum first opened and 200 years since the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.