The Museum of London has submitted a planning application to the City of London to relocate to Smithfield Market.
The re-design is expected to cost £337 million, as funds are gathered to make the project happen, and is projected to open in 2024.
The move, which has been in the making for four years, is yet to be approved by the City of London Corporation, but is expected to be considered by the committee in the coming months. Several architects and designers have been working on the plans to ensure that the majority of the building’s historic elements are kept intact, while modernising and utilising the large cavernous spaces for displays, exhibitions, and events. Minor restorations are planned to preserve the Victorian era structure.
Smithfield Market or London Central Markets is currently the largest wholesale meat market in the UK, making the transformation into a cultural hotspot a huge departure from its 800 year old livestock trading origins – it will instead be relocated to Barking in East London. The Grade II listed building has a rich history itself, as the only remaining such market in operation since medieval times.
The Museum of London's director, Sharon Ament, hopes that the new location will attract more than two million new visitors each year and bump up the attraction into the city’s top ten tourist destinations. Stanton Williams, the lead architect on the project, said to City A.M.: “The opportunity to help reinvent, reimagine and transform a group of existing market buildings into a 21st century museum is an extraordinary opportunity.”
The museum, which is presently located on the London Wall in Barbican, is home to the largest urban history collection in the world. Part of the Barbican complex of buildings created in the 1960s, the venue is also available for exclusive hire and private events.
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