International Slavery Museum secures grant - Museums Association

International Slavery Museum secures grant

National Museums Liverpool venue receives £9.9m from Heritage Fund for redevelopment
Capital projects
International Slavery Museum, National Museums Liverpool
International Slavery Museum, National Museums Liverpool (c) Pete Carr

Plans to redevelop Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum have been boosted by a £9.9m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The National Museums Liverpool (NML) scheme will extend the existing collections and galleries, and create a new entrance to the venue as part of the redevelopment of the historic Dr Martin Luther King Jnr building. This will help visitors to understand the history of Liverpool’s waterfront through the lens of the transatlantic slave trade.

The revamped International Slavery Museum is part of the wider NML Waterfront Transformation Project. This will allow visitors to explore and experience the nearby Canning Docks, where ships – including slave vessels – were repaired.

“This grant gives us the opportunity to unlock the huge potential to co-create welcoming and thought-provoking spaces for education, exhibitions, discussion and research,” said NML director Laura Pye.

“Now more than ever we must tackle the themes around historic slavery, human rights, racism and discrimination, and the funding will go further than the International Slavery Museum in allowing NML to incorporate Black history and the legacies of slavery into all our venues.

"Social movements and the growing discussion of Britain’s role in the slave trade have changed the urgency for this discourse, and thanks to the National Lottery players, we will be able to support a revitalised programme to expand and develop this approach as well as creating new exhibition and community spaces."


The grant is one of five Heritage Horizon Awards, totalling more than £50m, being given to what the Heritage Fund describes as “ambitious and transformational projects across the UK”.

The four other Heritage Horizon Projects are:

  • Cairngorms 2030: People and Nature Thriving Together (£12,486,100)
  • Peatland Progress: A New Vision for the Fens (£8,186,200)
  • Plymouth Sound National Marine Park (£9,582,100)
  • Great Yarmouth Winter Gardens - Reimagining the People's Palace (£9,977,100)

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