The Museum of London’s scheduled move to Smithfield Market gets the green light after an announcement that £180 million of the required £270 million has already been raised. It sourced the bulk of this funding (£110 million) from the City of London Corporation, with Mayor Sadiq Khan committing to £70 million. This capital injection underscores his recent comments in support of the museum which bears the capital city’s name.
The Mayor visited Smithfield Market yesterday donning workman’s fluorescent vest and a hard hat to survey the new site himself. The focus here was on the Victorian buildings in West Smithfields which will be converted into a prestigious new museum ready to display exhibits from as early as 450,000BC.
Architects Stanton Williams and Asif Khan’s innovative design includes underground display chambers which, no doubt, helped edge them ahead in winning the competition to design the museum. However, visitors, tourists and the curious alike will have to wait until 2022 earliest to see this finished building. A 2018 planning application is expected before development is kickstarted.
The mayor had the last word on the value it will bring to the capital, expressing his sense of fulfilment that it’s his office’s largest investment yet, and also giving the impression it would prove to be money well spent as regards culture, education and history.