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 Explore Leeds Discovery Centre

From elephant skulls to a medieval log boat, mummy bandages and meteorites, Leeds Discovery Centre offers a unique opportunity for hands-on exploration into the natural world, human history and ingenuity.

Free tours of Leeds Discovery Centre store are held every Thursday at 11.00 or 14.00.
To book on a tour, email discovery.centre@leeds.gov.uk or telephone (0113 378 2100).

What is Leeds Discovery Centre?
We are a state-of-the-art museum storage facility, storing and protecting over one million fascinating objects.

The museum objects are stored in the best conditions to preserve them. Our state-of-the-art facilities include a storage area equipped with giant shelves on wheels, a specialist conservation studio and a research room – ideal for examining objects in more detail.

Did you know that only between 5 and 10% of our collections are on display in our museums and galleries at any one time?
Leeds Discovery Centre brings the bulk of our collections together under one roof and more of our objects are becoming available through our searchable online database. 


What isn't there to see? Leeds Discovery Centre stores collections from across the world, from Giggleswick to Ghana, South Leeds to Shanghai and Adel to Ancient Greece!

A taste of the activities on offer

  • ‘Make do and mend’ sessions: Our dress and textiles curator uses the collections to inspire stitching, darning, knitting and design workshops.
  • 'Fossil detectives': Fossil fanatics can explore some of our finest specimens with our geology curator.
  • 'CSI Discovery!' Hands-on investigations uncovering the stories of skeletons and skulls from our Human Remains collections.

Lifelong learning

A wide range of workshops and learning sessions run by our expert staff are available for adults and school groups at all key stages. Learn about our objects, how to handle them, how we look after them and what they were used for.

Sessions can be tailored to your educational needs, so please contact us for more details using the form below, by email or telephone. Check out the Learn section of the website for more information about our offer for schools and groups.

Behind the scenes

As well as our store, we have research facilities, conservation studios, quarantine areas*, education rooms, meetings rooms and the office space. Curators, registrars, interns, educators, commercial and web people and more all work from this building, making it a central hub for the service. 

(* Our giant walk-in freezer kills any bugs on our objects, like stuffed animals and textiles, before they eat and destroy them!)


A high percentage of the volunteering placements across our sites are based at Leeds Discovery Centre, mostly due to the collections, facilities and number of staff on site. 

Volunteering opportunities might take the form of one off placements or long term group projects. The medal cleaning project, working with the conservator at Leeds Discovery Centre, allowed much needed work and research on a key area of our collections. It also offered opportunities to a number of people, including John, who is now a regular volunteer with us. He said:

"Having this opportunity has given me a real sense of self-worth again. Disability can be a barrier, but the placement at Leeds Discovery Centre has shown me that I still have lots to offer. I feel much more confident about my abilities now. I’m hoping to step forward and continue to develop myself with more voluntary work. Hopefully, this will give me the chance to realise my full capabilities.”

Looking for a venue?

We offer a modern venue for meetings, presentations, workshops and training events. The Education room is a flexible space which can accommodate 70 theatre-style or 25 people board-room style. It is well equipped with an interactive whiteboard, projector, internet access, induction loop system and black out blinds. The first floor meeting room is ideally suited for boardroom-style meetings in a comfortable modern space with floor to ceiling windows.

With competitive hire rates, the centre is fully accessible and also benefits from excellent rail and road links and ample free parking. 

Why not break up your day by booking a tour of the store for your guests and delegates?

Visit the leedsvenues.org website for more information about our facilities or call us directly to make a booking.

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