BGI announces National Lottery Heritage Fund award for Redesign Project

Sheffield, 1200 28/04/22: The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded a significant grant to the BGI to redesign the National Videogame Museum’s Visitor Experience in close collaboration with local communities.

The Level Up project will conduct a significant redesign of the Museum, which will be co-designed with under-represented communities in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Chesterfield. The Museum will launch pop up exhibitions in these communities and use videogames’ unique accessibility to improve cultural and educational opportunities for new as well as existing audiences. In parallel, the Museum will start a project to improve the accessibility of its Collection for all audiences.

This project builds upon a Cultural Recovery Fund Grant from Arts Council England which enabled the BGI not only to survive the pandemic but also to conduct a comprehensive audience survey. This found that visitors gave the Museum a remarkable 95% visitor satisfaction rate but also that there are some local communities under-represented amongst its current visitors.

Aligned closely with the charity’s new  ‘Transforming lives with games’ strategy which focuses on inclusivity and diversity, this project will develop a bold new visitor experience with the help of consultants in close collaboration with its local community in South Yorkshire. The charity will shortly announce an open tender for the redesign contract as well as multiple roles to deliver the project.

John O’Shea, Creative Director, said “Through Level Up, our expertise in videogames will combine with the unique power of gaming to reach into our local communities and create opportunities for new cultural engagement, especially through the NVM Collection.”

BGI’s outgoing CEO Rick Gibson said “We’re so proud that Heritage Fund has awarded us this project, which is a significant milestone for our organisation as we develop a new, ambitious and inclusive proposition. Our work with under-represented communities is important to us and I can’t wait to see the result of these collaborations”.

The BGI is recruiting for a new CEO:


Notes to Editors


If you would like to interview BGI trustees or staff, please contact Chris Bromley on

About the BGI

The BGI is a national voice for videogame culture, heritage and education which empowers people from all backgrounds, especially women, BAME, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds, to:

  • Play through accessible and creative experiences that engage and inspire
  • Collaborate through inclusive communities, research, discussions and teamwork
  • Learn through informal, formal and vocational learning

Our charity celebrates and interrogates games culture for everyone through the National Videogame Museum, our Collection, our research into games preservation and our festivals such as GameCity. We run award-winning formal and informal learning programmes such as Pixelheads in person and online for schools and families. We run vocational courses and the Games Education Summit and we co-founded and organise the Games Careers Week Festival for young people, their parents and educators. For more details about the BGI’s mission and programmes, please visit:

About the National Videogame Museum

The NVM celebrates videogame culture and allows the public to play most of its exhibits, which include nearly 100 games consoles, arcade machines and other interactive experiences, including games designed exclusively for the Museum. The Museum holds one of the UK’s largest collections of nearly 5,000 videogame objects, including arcade machines, technology, game memorabilia and ephemera. Formerly the National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham, the Museum has welcomed over 200,000 visitors, including hundreds of school visits, since it opened in 2016. The Museum presents a mixture of permanent and temporary exhibitions both in person and online. For more details about the NVM, please visit: A press pack including images and video of the NVM is available here.


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