London

Museum of London move gets £180m funding boost

Artist's impression of the new Museum of London Image copyright Stanton Williams and Asif Khan
Image caption An artist's impression of what the atrium at the Museum of London may look like at Smithfield market

The Museum of London's plan to move to Smithfield market has moved a step closer thanks to a funding boost.

The City of London Corporation and mayor of London have pledged a total of £180m towards the £250m project.

The museum first announced its plan to move from its current location last year, citing a lack of space at its Barbican site.

A planning application will be made in 2018 and the museum hopes to open its new home to the public in 2022.

Converting the disused general market at Smithfield - next door to the meat market - would create 1,700 new jobs, the museum has said.

It expects to spend much of the £250m bringing the derelict Victorian buildings back into use. It will also give the museum a street-level entrance for the first time.

Image copyright Stanton Williams and Asif Khan
Image caption The Museum of London hopes to submit a planning application for the Smithfield's site in 2018

The City of London Corporation will donate £110m to the museum, while City Hall has pledged £70m.

The donation will be funded by a Corporation of London loan to City Hall repayable over 25 years, a spokesman for the mayor said.

The remaining £70m needed will be raised by the museum from donations from the private sector, charitable foundations and individuals.

Image copyright Stanton Williams and Asif Khan
Image caption It is estimated the number of visitors to the museum could double to two million a year

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the project would be "a jewel in our crown" revealing 2,000 years of London's history while rejuvenating West Smithfield and protecting its heritage.

The new museum hopes to see visitor attendance double from one million people a year to more than two million.

The site will also allow the museum to display more of its collection of over 6 million items.

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