Migration Museum to boost City of London cultural offer
Plans for a major new development in the Square Mile that will boost its cultural offer and support it as a seven-day-a-week visitor destination have today (21 February) been approved.
The scheme at 65 Crutched Friars will create a new permanent home for the Migration Museum, currently based in Lewisham, over three floors including exhibition and event space, a cafe and shop.
The Museum explores how the movement of people to and from Britain across the ages has made us who we are – as individuals and as a nation. It will include an educational outreach programme to engage with diverse communities across London and the UK.
The application by real estate company Dominus was approved today by the City of London Corporation’s Planning Applications Sub-Committee.
The developer has agreed to provide the museum space rent-free for 60 years, while also covering its operating costs for five years, and has donated £500,000 to support its fund-raising campaign.
City of London Corporation Planning Applications Sub-Committee Chairman Shravan Joshi said:
“This development will bring new life to the eastern part of the City and an economic boost to the Square Mile.
“As a melting pot of different nationalities and backgrounds, the City is a fitting home for the Migration Museum as it celebrates diversity and inclusion. This is a key part of the City’s success so we are proud to provide a permanent home for the Migration Museum given its national significance. It will also add to our existing cultural offer and support our Destination City vision to make the Square Mile a seven-day-a-week visitor destination.
“We carefully considered, including through an independent review, the possibility of retaining this site for office use, whether through refurbishing or rebuilding, but our conclusion was that such a scheme would not be financially viable, therefore a change of use was appropriate in this case.”
Sophie Henderson, CEO of the Migration Museum, said:
“We are delighted to have secured this opportunity for a permanent home for the Migration Museum. We are creating Britain's missing museum, exploring how the movement of people to and from the City, London and the UK has shaped who we all are today – as individuals, as communities and as nations. And there is no more fitting location for the Migration Museum than in the heart of the City of London, Britain's gateway to the world for thousands of years.
“The Migration Museum will be an inspiring venue for diverse audiences from across the City, London and beyond to come together to explore, discuss and reflect on key questions around migration, identity and belonging; a go-to destination for schools, a resonant setting for training and skills-building and a relevant, welcoming space for a host of activities for the many communities we serve."
The new development at 65 Crutched Friars, which will replace a five-storey, 1980s office building, will also include a mixture of studio apartments and shared accommodation for students.
The 21-storey building will comprise 769 rooms, 35% of which will be classed as affordable housing.
It will also see the creation of a new public courtyard fronting onto Northumberland Alley and a new ‘pocket park’ in Rangoon Street.
The City Corporation’s Destination City initiative is transforming the Square Mile’s leisure offer, creating a leading destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.
With a £2.5 million annual investment from the City Corporation, Destination City will drive the Square Mile’s recovery from the pandemic and deliver an exciting events programme, including outdoor festivals featuring music, art, education, sport, and wellness.
Notes to editors
Image credit: 3XN, Migration Museum and Dominus
About the City of London Corporation
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