Plans approved for new £337m Museum of London

WCN Editorial Team 25 Jun 2020 EUROPE BUILDINGS

The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee has given its approval for the construction of a new Museum of London in West Smithfield at an estimated cost of £337m.

Expected to redefine what a 21st century museum would look like, the new Museum of London will reach existing and new audiences through its unrivalled collection and dynamic storytelling.

The new Museum of London could play a key role in the City of London Corporation’s Culture Mile vision, an initiative to create a vibrant cultural area in the north-west corner of the City, which will contribute in the revitalisation of Smithfield.

The approval will secure a sustainable future for the historic market buildings that make up the site, most of which date back to the Victorian Era have fallen into disrepair.

Most of the historic fabric of the buildings will be preserved to create spaces both above and below ground to host a wide range of displays, exhibitions, learning activities and events.

The approval comes after four years of work by the design team in bringing forward the plans, led by architects Stanton Williams and Asif Khan. The two have worked together with conservation architect Julian Harrap.

The Museum of London had also engaged with thousands of stakeholders including the local community, visitors and Londoners on the plans, who are claimed to have overwhelmingly supported the project.

The City of London Corporation Planning and Transportation Committee chair Alastair Moss said: “The Museum of London’s plans for Smithfield Market represent a fantastic opportunity to sensitively revive these buildings and bring them back into use as an exciting and accessible destination for all of the City’s workers, residents and visitors to enjoy.

“The new Museum of London will also play a pivotal role in Culture Mile, a vibrant cultural and creative area in the north-west corner of the Square Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The Museum of London’s new home will be a spectacular addition to our capital’s cultural offering. Through its innovative exhibitions, it will tell the story of London’s history and diversity in a previously unseen way, inspiring a whole new generation of Londoners and visitors to our capital.”

The City of London Corporation had also agreed to invest £197m of the £337m needed to deliver the project. London Mayor had also announced a contribution of £70m for the project, back in January 2017.

The Museum of London has also secured £27m in fundraising, leaving a further £43m to raise before the project is delivered.

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Entrance area of the present Museum of London. (Credit: Wikipedia.org/Ethan Doyle White.)

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