A CUTTING-EDGE Leeds museum will showcase world-famous swords and firearms featured in Hollywood blockbusters thanks to a £98,000 grant.
The Royal Armouries at New Dock, formerly Clarence Dock, has been handed the huge sum from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help tell the story of arms and armour in films, television, computer games and literature.
The news comes after tourism figures from VisitEngland revealed the Leeds-based museum has suffered almost a 20 percent fall in visitor numbers in the past five years, which museum officials blamed on Government funding cuts.
The new ‘Arms and Armour of Popular Culture’ project at the Royal Armouries aims to engage younger audiences.
The grant will also help expand the site’s current collections and displays, including The Lord of the Rings’ Master Swordsmith’s Collection of replica swords, and firearms from James Bond movies.
Curator of European edged weapons, Bob Woosnam-Savage, who is leading the project, said: “It will enable us to acquire a capsule collection to present to our non-specialist visitors, who are very familiar with popular culture as a way to be educated and entertained.
“This project will deliver not just the acquisition of some star and smaller objects of arms and armour from popular culture, but also an exciting new programme with which to reach out to the wider public.”
Director general and master of the Armouries, Dr Edward Impey, said: “We hope this project will not only do this subject justice and attract new visitors, but also help people to explore our more traditional collections with greater confidence and understanding.”
The museum is one of 23 organisations across the UK – and the only one from Yorkshire – to receive one of the ‘Collecting Cultures’ grants.
For more information about the museum, visit www.royalarmouries.org.