Shoreditch museum celebrates �500,000 building grant

Popular tourist destination the Geffrye Museum has secured more than �500,000 lottery cash to extend its museum in Shoreditch.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a development grant of �518,500 to help the Kingsland Road museum progress its plans for gallery space, a conference area and artefact store under its new title of Museum of the Home.

Passing the first-round cash hurdle means that the Geffrye Museum has up to two years to submit more detailed plans and apply for the balance of their �10.9million bid.

The total project will cost an estimated �13.2million and is due for completion in April 2015 when the museum anticipates its visitor numbers will have increased by 25 per cent.

It currently attracts more than 103,000 people a year.

The plan aims to ease congestion caused by growing numbers of visitors, open up public access to the collections, library and archive and increase the capacity for education, learning and dissemination.

It will have new entrances from Hoxton station and Kingsland Road and a new restaurant either in a pavilion or in a former pub on Cremer Street.

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If the bid is successful, the new building will be ready in time for some anniversaries for the museum – 400 years after the museum’s namesake Robert Geffrye’s birth in 1613; 300 years after the opening of the Geffrye Almshouses in 1714 and 100 years after the opening of the Geffrye Museum in 1914.

David Dewing, the Geffrye’s director, said: “This combination of our vision for the Museum of the Home and the growing demand among new and existing audiences creates a pressing need for physical changes to our buildings.

“We are determined to create the best possible conditions for our collections, library and archive, and to ensure many more people can engage with them for learning and enjoyment.

“It is fantastic news that the HLF has given the project its initial support and we are very excited to be able to move ahead, based on the Masterplan developed by David Chipperfield last year”.