The Museum of London, which is preparing to move to a site in Smithfield says that it has raised £7 million towards the cost, bringing its close to its initial £40 million fundraising target.
The largest donation was £5 million from The Garfield Weston Foundation, a family-founded charitable grant-making trust which gives away around £90 million a year to charities across the UK. They also received £1 million each from both The Schroder Foundation and Family, and from the Wolfson Foundation.
The three donations come as the museum has finished restoration work on the external facades of the former Smithfield meat market building; part of a plan to conserve the building’s historic fabric, originally designed by Sir Horace Jones.
The £40 million fundraising target is to cover the cost of moving into the Smithfield meat market building, and the museum is also looking to raise a further £30 million to cover the cost of opening up the neighbouring Poultry Market building, which will become their main site to resume large scale exhibitions.
Internal works to the General Market building are now progressing, with excavation completed on the site’s former Salt Stores and Vaults to create trenches for ventilation and services. Precast planks, which will form the basis of a new floor level, have been installed. The Victorian brickwork in the basement has been cleaned and restored to its former glory. This area will house the museum’s Past Time galleries, taking visitors on a journey through London’s past, using theatrical, sensory and interactive displays to bring the museum’s collections to life.
Sharon Ament, Director, Museum of London, said: “We are hugely grateful to The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Schroder Foundation and Family, and the Wolfson Foundation for their support, which is crucial in helping us breathe new life into West Smithfield. We are marching forward at pace to create a fantastic new museum for the city – one that tells the story of London and its people in all its complicated and colourful glory.”
The City of London has put forward £197 million of the roughly £337 million needed to deliver the scheme. A contribution of a capped £70m has also been made by the Mayor of London, which was announced in January 2017. The museum has also already received donations of £10m from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and their affiliated Charity, £10m from the Linbury Trust and initial support for £5m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The museum will be closing to the public at its current site on 4th December 2022, preceded by a special programme of events, activities and displays celebrating its 45-years at London Wall and giving visitors a last chance to visit before it moves home. The Museum of London Docklands will remain open throughout, changing its name to The London Museum Docklands in January 2023.