City Corporation funds ‘cultural transformation’ of Smithfield ahead of Museum of London move

The Museum of London is launching a new cultural programme around its future home in Smithfield, thanks to City of London Corporation funding.

Over the next three years, the museum will deliver a free, world-class programme of neighbourhood activities aimed at ‘activating, animating and enriching’ the area.

School workshops, family programming, community-led projects and public events will all be held in the streets around Smithfield Market.

A new temporary community space will house creative and social activities, while a training, work experience and mentoring scheme will be offered to over 500 young people in the City and Islington.

The activities are being funded with a £650,000 grant from the City Corporation’s Neighbourhood Fund – derived from a levy on new developments in the Square Mile.

City of London Corporation Policy Chairman Chris Hayward said:

“Our funding will help the Museum of London prepare the ground for the cultural transformation of Smithfield, providing exciting artistic and careers opportunities and supporting our Destination City vision for the Square Mile as a seven-day-a-week visitor destination.

“These programmes will also play a really important role in bringing young people and other under-served groups on board, and engendering a feeling of community pride and a sense that the new museum belongs to the community.”

The City Corporation grant will also fund a ‘creative community associates’ scheme, which will involve creative partners and local people, including young Londoners, disabled people and people with experience of living in poverty, who will work together to help shape the new museum plans.

The new Museum of London is due to open in 2026, rebranded as the London Museum, in currently vacant market buildings. It will form part of a major transformation of the area, ahead of Smithfield Meat Market’s move to a new site at Dagenham Dock.

Lauren Parker, Head of Creative Partnerships at the Museum of London, said:

“This is a hugely exciting time for the museum and we’re thrilled to have been given this grant from the City of London Corporation.

“The funding will allow us to launch an ambitious programme of activities that will lay the groundwork for our new world-class Smithfield site ahead of its opening in 2026, working with local communities, residents and partners to help build the best city museum in the world.”

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

About The Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

A fixture on London’s cultural scene since first opening in 1976, the museum is moving house. It has now closed doors at its London Wall site in preparation for its relocation to a new home at West Smithfield, where it will occupy historic market buildings and open up to millions more visitors. The new museum will reopen in 2026 under a new name: The London Museum.

The Museum of London Docklands remains open Monday - Sunday 10am – 5pm and is FREE to all. You can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more being added regularly – www.museumoflondon.org.uk

Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services
City of London Corporation
07738 862229 | tim.fletcher@cityoflondon.gov.uk