Chancellor George Osborne today visited the Science Museum with Sir James Dyson who announced plans to create the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London, basing it in the museum’s Post Office building.
The museum will use the proceeds from the sale of the building to Imperial to catalyse the biggest transformation in its history. In this way the sale will help the museum inspire the next generation of young scientists and engineers on whom the economy depends and who could go on to study at the Dyson School.
The new School has been made possible by a £12 million donation from the James Dyson Foundation. The Chancellor and Sir James were shown around the building by Science Museum Director, Ian Blatchford and Imperial Provost Professor James Stirling.
George Osborne, said: “Backing Britain’s world leading science, research and innovation is a key part of our long term economic plan.”
The Post Office Building is located next to the Science Museum and had been used by Royal Mail until last year as well as housing staff offices, which will be relocated to other parts of the South Kensington site.
The reinvestment of proceeds, approved by the Chancellor, will allow the Science Museum to invest more than £20 million in transforming around a third of the museum over the next five years. It will allow the museum to bring the standard of its buildings and infrastructure in line with the world-class visitor experience offered by new permanent galleries being created that include a new interactive gallery that will open in 2016 along with a new mathematics gallery as well as new medicine galleries due to open in 2019.
Ian Blatchford said: “Alongside the significant support we receive from our funders and DCMS, this investment will support bold plans for our museum to fire up the imagination of our million young visitors annually, inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers. We hope many of them will aspire to study at the Dyson School. This is a win, win, win announcement for young people, our institutions and the UK economy which urgently needs more engineers to fuel growth.”
The Dyson School will teach a four year MEng course in Design Engineering with a curriculum, developed in partnership with Dyson engineers to give industry relevance, blending technical discipline with creativity.
James Dyson said: “We want to create engineers who are bold and commercially astute. They will use their skills, nurtured in the Dyson School, to develop future technology that will catalyse Britain’s economic growth.”
Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London, said: “Design combines the best of technical expertise with creativity and the Dyson School of Design Engineering is uniquely placed to bring these together in its student experience and research. Imperial and Dyson passionately share a vision for educating engineers to elicit innovative thinking and problem solving. The James Dyson Foundation’s generous donation, along with Dyson’s industrial expertise, gives us the opportunity to create a world-leading School for a new kind of engineer to design the future.”
Last year 450,000 young people visited the Science Museum on educational trips or benefit from its outreach programme, more than any other UK museum. Among 3.3 million visitors to the museum last year, around 1.7 million people visited in family groups.