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Discovery Museum

Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4JA

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About this venue

Discovery Museum is housed in the old Co-operative Wholesale Society building, Blandford House. Opening in 1899, it quickly became an iconic building in Newcastle city centre. Blandford House became a museum in 1978 and was re-launched as Discovery Museum in 1993. Immerse yourself in the history of Newcastle and Tyneside told through permanent displays and temporary exhibitions over three floors focusing on the area's maritime, scientific and technological importance to Britain and the rest of the world.

Access Guide

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Introduction

  • Services / facilities within the building include Tyne and Wear Archives, a museum, shop, gallery, a hub, learning rooms, and a cafe.

Opening Times

  • Monday 10:00 - 16:00.
  • Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00.
  • Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00.
  • Thursday 10:00 - 16:00.
  • Friday 10:00 - 16:00.
  • Saturday 11:00 - 16:00.
  • Sunday 11:00 - 16:00.

Location

  • There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest National Rail station is Newcastle Central.
  • The nearest Metro Station is Central.

Parking

  • The venue does not have its own car park.
  • Public Car Parks View
    • There is a car park for public use within 200m (approx).
    • The name of the car park is Blandford Square Car Park.
    • The car park is located on Blandford Square.
  • Blue Badge On Street Parking View
    • On street marked Blue Badge bays are not available.
  • Standard On Street Parking View
    • Clearly signed and / or standard marked parking bays are available.
    • The dimensions of the standard marked parking bays are 203cm x 542cm (6ft 8in x 17ft 9in).
    • Standard marked parking bays are located on Blandford Square.
  • Drop off Point View
    • There is not a designated drop off point.
  • Comments View
    • The car park is shown in photographs 1 - 3.
    • The on street parking is shown in photograph 4.

Outside Access (Main Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the front of the building.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) automatically.
  • The door(s) is / are double.
  • The width of the door opening is 230cm (7ft 7in).
  • Second set of doors View
    • There is a small raised threshold in the doorway.
    • There is a second set of doors.
    • The door(s) open(s) automatically.
    • The door(s) is / are double.
    • The width of the door opening is 230cm (7ft 7in).

Level Change (Main Entrance)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp or slope is located on the path leading to the entrance.
  • The ramp/slope gradient is slight.

Reception (Information Desk)

  • The desk/counter is 6m (6yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
  • There is level access to the desk/counter from the entrance.
  • The desk/counter is medium height (77cm - 109cm).
  • The desk/counter does not have a low (76cm or lower) section.
  • The lighting levels are medium.
  • There is not a hearing assistance system.

Inside Access

  • There is not level access to the service(s).
  • There is a hearing assistance system.
  • The system is a fixed loop.
  • Staff are trained to use the system.
  • This venue does not play background music.
  • Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the venue.
  • The lighting levels are medium.

Level Change (Inside Access)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located leading up from the reception area to the lower gallery.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
  • The ramp does have handrails.
  • The handrails are on both sides.
  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located to the the right of the ramp.
  • There is/are 6 step(s) to the area/service.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are bright.
  • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
  • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
  • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Comments View
    • There are other similar steps leading from the lower ground floor to the ground floor.
    • The main hall lift can be used to overcome the ramp and steps.

Museum

  • Exhibits cannot be audio described.
  • Tactile signage for exhibits is available.
  • The availability of tactile signage depends on exhibition.
  • Braille signage for exhibits is not available.
  • The availability of Braille signage depends on exhibition.
  • Touch tours are available.
  • The availability of touch tours depends on exhibition.
  • Video tours are available.
  • There is a hearing assistance system.
  • The hearing system is a fixed loop.
  • Staff are trained to use the hearing system.
  • A deposit is not required for the hearing system.
  • There is a wheelchair to borrow.
  • To borrow the wheelchair, please ask reception or shop staff.
  • Comments View
    • There is a raised pathway through the Newcastle Story area of the museum (shown in photographs 8 and 9).
    • There are some video screen areas throughout the museum. The seating varies.
    • There are interactive exhibits and low level information points throughout the museum (shown in photographs 11 - 13).
    • There is a large floor map with tactile and braille markings on each floor, to the right as you exit the lift (shown in photograph 14).
    • There are audio exhibits throughout the museum. All audio exhibits have text transcriptions available (shown in photographs 15 and 16).

Museum Shop

  • The museum shop is located ahead and to the left as you enter the building.
  • There is level access inside the shop.
  • The shop has a fixed hearing loop.
  • The counter is 93cm in height. There is not a low section to the counter.
  • There is sufficient space for a wheelchair to manouvre.

Other Floors (Viewing Platform)

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are LG, Viewing Platform.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • The steps are medium (11cm - 17cm).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are bright.
  • Comments View
    • There are 2 similar stairways leading to the viewing platform.

Lift (Viewing Platform)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located on the lower ground floor.
  • The lift is a platform lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are LG, Viewing Platform.
  • The lift is approximately 22m (24yd 2in) from the main entrance.
  • Staff do not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The clear door width is 91cm (2ft 12in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 98cm x 147cm (3ft 3in x 4ft 10in).
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is not a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • The lift does not have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does not have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The lift does not have Braille markings.
  • The lift does not have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is bright.

Other Floors (Main Hall Rear Stairway)

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are LG, G, 1, 2.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • The steps are medium (11cm - 17cm).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are bright.
  • Comments View
    • There are 7 steps between the ground and lower ground floor.

Lift (Main Hall)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located at the far end of the main hall.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are LG, G, 1, 2.
  • The lift is approximately 26m (28yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
  • Staff do not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The clear door width is 109cm (3ft 7in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 142cm x 202cm (4ft 8in x 6ft 8in).
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is not a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • The lift does have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The lift does have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is bright.
  • Comments View
    • This lift can be used to overcome the ramp and steps from the lower ground floor to the ground floor.

Lift (Great Hall)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located at the rear of the museum, next to the toilets.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are G, 1, 2, 3, 4.
  • The lift is approximately 37m (40yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
  • Staff do not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The clear door width is 101cm (3ft 4in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 130cm x 195cm (4ft 3in x 6ft 5in).
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is not a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • The lift does have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The lift does have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is bright.

Restaurant Bar Internal (Discovery Cafe)

  • The following information is for the cafe.
  • Once inside, there is level access to the service.
  • Food or drinks are ordered from the counter.
  • Food or drinks can be brought to the table.
  • There is not a lowered section at the service counter.
  • There is ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre.
  • No tables are permanently fixed.
  • No chairs are permanently fixed.
  • Some chairs have armrests.
  • The nearest table is 1m (3ft 3in) from the cafe entrance.
  • The distance between the floor and the lowest table is 41cm (1ft 4in).
  • The distance between the floor and the highest table is 73cm (2ft 5in).
  • Menus are wall only.
  • Menus are not available in Braille.
  • Menus are not available in large print.
  • Picture menus are not available.
  • Menus are clearly written.
  • Menus are presented in contrasting colours.
  • The type of food served here is hot and cold meals, sandwiches and snacks.
  • Comments View
    • The Discovery CafĂ© has large handled cutlery, non slip place mats, plastic mugs with two handles and an optional lid, and plate surrounds which can be clipped on to the side of standard plates.

Changing Places

  • Location and access View
    • The facility is located at the rear of the main hall on the ground floor.
    • The facility is approximately 37m (40yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
    • There is level access to the facility.
  • Dimensions and features View
    • You do need a key for the facility.
    • It is a radar key.
    • The key can be obtained from reception or the museum shop.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The width of the door is 87cm (2ft 10in).
    • The dimensions of the facility are 240cm x 270cm (7ft 10in x 8ft 10in).
    • The facility changing bench height is adjustable.
    • The facility changing bench is free standing.
    • The length of the facility changing bench is 161cm (5ft 3in).
    • The facility hoist is powered overhead.
    • The overhead hoist covers the changing bench.
    • The sling is attached to the hoist by hook.
    • The facility toilet is corner.
    • The transfer space on the right as you face the toilet is 165cm (5ft 5in).
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall mounted grab rails are on the left.
    • Drop down rails are provided for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the drop down rail(s) is/are on the right.
    • The type of wash basin is fixed.
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available at the wash basin.
    • As you face the wash basin, the wall mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • Disposal facilities are available.
    • A privacy screen is not available.
    • Wide tear off paper roll is available.
    • The facility has a non-slip floor.
    • A functioning emergency alarm is not available.
    • It is out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from the floor).
  • Comments View
    • There is an identical facility located in the Peoples Gallery at the rear of the second floor.

Accessible Toilet (Ground Floor Standard Toilets)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 39m (42yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
    • This accessible toilet is located within the female and male standard toilets at the rear of the main hall.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
    • This is by lift.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is not a shared toilet.
    • There are seperate accessible toilets located within the female and male standard toilets area.
    • A key is required for the accessible toilet.
    • The key is a radar key.
    • The key can be obtained from a member of staff.
    • The door opens inwards.
    • The door is locked by a locking handle.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 90cm (2ft 11in).
    • The door is light.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 120cm x 335cm (3ft 11in x 10ft 12in).
    • There is not sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the right.
    • The lateral transfer space is 80cm (2ft 7in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is sensor.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • There is not an emergency alarm.
    • Disposal facilities are not available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are coat hook(s).
    • The coat hook is not within 120cm (3ft 11in) from floor level.
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on the left.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 45cm (1ft 6in).
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a towel dispenser.
    • The towel dispenser can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The towel dispenser is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are bright.
  • Comments View
    • There are identical facilities located in the standard toilet areas at the rear of the Peoples Gallery on the second floor.

Standard Toilet(s) (Ground Floor)

  • Availability and Location of Standard Toilets View
    • Standard toilets are available.
  • Access to Standard Female and Male Toilet(s) View
    • The female and male toilets are located at the rear of the museum, behind the main lift.
    • The female and male toilets are 37m (40yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
    • Inside the venue, there is level access to the female and male toilets.
    • This is by lift.
    • An ambulant toilet cubicle with wall mounted grab rails is available.
    • Lighting levels are bright.
  • Baby Change Facilities View
    • Baby change facilities are located within the venue.
    • Baby change facilities are located in both male and female toilets.
    • The height of the baby change table once extended is 93cm (3ft 1in).
    • Inside the venue, there is level access to the baby change facility.
    • This is by lift.
  • Comments View
    • The door to the standard toilets are fully automatic.

Additional Info

  • Staff do receive disability awareness / equality training.
  • Documents can be requested in Braille.
  • Documents can be requested in large print.
  • A bowl of water can be provided for an assistance dog.
  • An assistance dog toilet area can be provided onsite.
  • The assistance dog toilet area is located in the areas surrounding the venue.
  • A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not generally on duty.
  • This service cannot be requested.