Funding Streams for New Museum of London in West Smithfield
Architects Stanton Williams and Asif Khan were selected in July 2016 to design the new Museum of London; the design team also includes conservation architect Julian Harrap and landscape design consultant J&L Gibbons.
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Press release (24 January 2017) from the Museum of London:
The Museum of London’s plans for a new museum in West Smithfield were today given a major boost thanks to huge support from the City of London Corporation and the Mayor of London, who have pledged £110 million and £70 million respectively. This marks an important next step for the project, which will save one of the last remaining derelict Victorian buildings in central London and transform an area of the capital with a rich and fascinating history. The support from Sadiq Khan is the largest cultural investment made by any Mayor of London, and together with City of London Corporation’s unprecedented investment, provides a £180 million package of confirmed funding towards its approximate £250 million cost.
In addition to conserving this historically important West Smithfield site, this ambitious project will deliver significant economic and social benefits for London and Londoners. This includes traineeship opportunities across London and approximately 1,700 new jobs. Located right next to the major new transport hub to be created at Farringdon, the new museum will be ideally situated to make the most of London’s biggest infrastructure project, Crossrail, and help to turn the area into a dynamic destination. As part of a burgeoning cultural hub within the City, the new museum will aim to broaden its visitor profile and double its visitor attendance from one million to more than two million, displaying much more of its rich collection of over 6 million items, telling the 2,000-year story of London, in 8,000m2 of permanent gallery space plus 1,500m2 of temporary exhibition space.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, who was touring the West Smithfield site, said: “From the outset of my Mayoralty, I pledged to make culture a core priority and I’m proud that this is the biggest ever cultural investment made by any Mayor of London to date. The world’s greatest city deserves the world’s greatest museum, which is why I’m delighted to announce £70 million of funding for the new Museum of London. This is on top of the £110m funding announced by the City of London Corporation. This major landmark project will be a jewel in our crown. It will reveal 2,000 years of fascinating London history for Londoners, visitors, and every schoolchild in the capital. It will rejuvenate West Smithfield, protecting its heritage while also creating a dynamic new public space—strengthening London’s credentials as an international powerhouse for culture.”
Mark Boleat, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City of London Corporation, said: “It is widely recognised that the current building at London Wall does not allow the Museum to expand and flourish, and that the former market buildings are in a poor state of repair. The approval of this significant contribution makes good business sense and is a major step forward towards the creation of a new Museum of London, both iconic in design and unparalleled in the way in which it tells the capital’s vibrant history.”
Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said: “This is simply fantastic news and a great way to start 2017. The £180m funding package from the City of London Corporation and Mayor of London provides us with the perfect springboard for the fundraising drive for the new Museum of London at West Smithfield. It also shows that, like us and many others, the Mayor of London and City of London Corporation recognise the huge benefits for London that a new Museum of London at a rejuvenated West Smithfield will deliver. Working with our design team we can now move forward confidently with detailed plans for the new museum and remain firmly on target to open the new Museum in 2022.”
This funding milestone follows the appointment of the architects Stanton Williams and Asif Khan in July 2016. The design team, which also includes conservation architect Julian Harrap and landscape design consultant J&L Gibbons, is now working to turn the initial concepts into a fully formed vision for the new museum alongside the City of London Corporation and the GLA. This includes further analysis of the complex West Smithfield site, a critical piece of work that will feed into the design process. Following a full and extensive public consultation process, a planning application is expected in 2018 to enable the delivery of the new museum by 2022. Further appointments to the project team are due to be announced over the next few months.