Smithfield General Market copyright Museum of London

Museum of London to relocate

Nicola Sullivan, 30.03.2015
Director reveals planned move to Smithfield General Market
The Museum of London is looking to move to Smithfield General Market, in the Farringdon ward of London because it has outgrown its London Wall site, said the director Sharon Ament.

Speaking at a fundraising dinner last week, Ament said she hoped the museum's relocation to the derelict Victorian market would be completed by 2021.

The move would allow the museum to accommodate over two million people a year, work with more schools, and display more of the London collection.

Ament said: “We do not currently have the space to present our collections properly, or demonstrate the research behind them. Our visitor numbers have doubled in recent years and continue to grow. Our schools programme is at capacity.

“If we are to continue to excite and engage visitors and become more sustainable by standing more firmly on our own two feet, we need to ensure our building and galleries are up to the challenge and match the best that London has to offer.”

The move has been approved by the museum’s governors, a detailed assessment of the logistics and viability of relocating to the Smithfield site will now be carried out.

Ament said: “Of course there are many issues to be resolved before opening a new museum, not least of which is a proper negotiation on the price for the site as well as a number of other conditions being met.”
 
For the past few months Museum of London has been looking at options for its long-term future at the request of the City of London Corporation.

In a statement, mayor of London, Boris Johnson said the museum “desperately needs more space".
 
Last July, Smithfield General Market was protected from partial demolition after the government rejected a multi-million pound proposal from property investor TIAA Henderson Real Estate.

 

Comments

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Oliver Green
MA Member
01.04.2015, 17:03
This is a great idea. MoL needs to be in central London, but its current site on London Wall is inconvenient, difficult to access and impossible to expand. Smithfield General Market is one of the few large protected sites in the square mile that would make an appropriate new home for the museum. This would be a win-win for the City as having been prevented from demolishing the old market they can now be its heritage protector by coming up with an imaginative conservation scheme. It will cost millions to do it well, but raising the money in the City should not be a problem.