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Legal and charitable status

The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum is the corporate body of the Science Museum Group (SMG) and was established under the National Heritage Act 1983. SMG has the status of a non-departmental public body (NDPB), operating within the public sector but at arm’s length from its sponsor department, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The National Railway Museum was established as a result of the transfer of the British Transport Commission’s railway collection to the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

The National Science and Media Museum, formerly the National Media Museum, was established by the Science Museum in 1983 with the support of Bradford City Council.

The Museum of Science and Industry, formerly the Greater Manchester Museum of Science & Industry Trust; was transferred to the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum in 2012.

SMG is an exempt charity under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011, with DCMS acting as its principal regulator for charity law purposes, and is recognised as charitable by HM Revenue & Customs.

SMG has a wholly owned subsidiary trading company, SCMG Enterprises Ltd (company registration no. 2196149), set up in 1988 and operating across all SMG museums.

National Coal Mining Museum for England

SMG also has responsibility for providing grant-in-aid funding to the National Coal Mining Museum for England (NCMME) on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, although it has no general supervisory role in relation to NCMME.