Migration Museum secures permanent home in City of London - Museums Association

Migration Museum secures permanent home in City of London

Purpose-built space for first UK museum dedicated to the movement of people
Capital projects Migration
The museum will be housed in the first three floors of a new student apartment complex
The museum will be housed in the first three floors of a new student apartment complex

The Migration Museum is to get a permanent home in a new apartment complex for students being built in central London.

The City of London's planning sub-committee has approved plans for a purpose-built space on the first three floors of a student accommodation development, not far from Aldgate underground station and the Tower of London.

The museum space will be created in partnership with the real estate company Dominus, which was founded by businessman and former refugee, Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, who emigrated to the UK in the 1970s to escape persecution in Idi Amin’s Uganda.

The new venue will be the first permanent space for the museum, which explores the movement of people to and from the UK and how this has shaped the nation.

The museum will include interactive temporary and permanent exhibition galleries, flexible event and education space, outdoor areas for programming and activities, and a café-restaurant and shop showcasing the impact of migration on food and business.

The Migration Museum is currently based in Lewisham Shopping Centre, south-east London, where it attracts 7,000 visitors a month to its exhibitions, events and learning programmes.


The museum intends to remain in Lewisham until around 2025-26 as it launches a capital fundraising campaign to raise up to £15m to support the move.

“We are delighted to have secured this opportunity for a permanent home for the Migration Museum,” said Sophie Henderson, CEO of the Migration Museum.

“We are creating Britain's missing museum, exploring how the movement of people to and from the City, London and the UK has shaped who we are – as individuals, as communities and as nations.

“Now more than ever, we need an inspiring space for diverse audiences from across London, Britain and beyond to come together to explore, discuss and reflect on key questions around migration, identity and belonging. And there is no more fitting location for the Migration Museum than in the heart of the City of London, Britain's gateway to the world for thousands of years.”

Henderson said being based in the city would give the museum the opportunity to reach and engage audiences from across London, the UK and beyond on a significantly larger scale. She said the museum would stay true to its original ethos and approaches, putting “personal storytelling at the core of everything we do”.

“Our temporary venue in Lewisham has been a space of real development and reflection for us. We have been welcomed by local communities with open arms and remain hugely committed to continuing our work within the borough,” said Henderson.


The museum hopes to remain in Lewisham for at least another two years, and will invite the audences, communities, artists and creatives it currently works with to help co-create the new museum space.

The Migration Museum was founded just over a decade ago by Barbara Roche, who served as immigration minister under the last Labour government and is the child of Jewish immigrants.

The museum convenes the Migration Network, which brings together heritage sector organisations to share knowledge and best practice on how to increase and improve work on migration themes across the UK.

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