|British Postal Museum and Archive||Developing a new museum|
|Established in 2004, the BPMA is the leading resource for all aspects of British postal history, bringing together The Royal Mail Archive and a Museum Store. With collections ranging from staff records to stamps, poster design to photography and from transport to telegrams, it cares for the visual, written and physical records from almost 400 years of innovation and service, illuminating the fascinating story of British communications.
Since 1998, when the National Postal Museum closed its doors, the collections have lacked a permanent and sustainable home. The BPMA’s ambition is to build a new state-of-the-art centre and visitor attraction in central London, adjacent to Mount Pleasant, Royal Mail’s home in London for the past 122 years. In addition, the BPMA is working to enable visitors to access the part of the Post Office Underground Railway that runs beneath Mount Pleasant.
We conducted audience development research to provide insight into what audiences need and want from the BPMA. Research was carried out among parents, independent adults and primary and secondary school teachers. Our findings were used to support a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) first round application. In October 2012, HLF awarded the BPMA development funding, allowing it to progress to the feasibility stage of its development and to work up detailed proposals ahead of a round two application. We conducted three further stages of research as part of this development. This involved two stages of testing of possible name and visual identity strategies among core audiences as well as research with Royal Mail staff. The opening of the new museum is planned for late 2016.