Plans green lit for new London Museum and regeneration of Smithfield

The plans to relocate the Museum of London were given the green light in what is a key milestone for the Museum’s relocation and securing a sustainable future for the historic market buildings that make up the site.

The site has been granted Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent to start work. These actions will allow for developers to break ground on the new, world-class cultural destination within a series of historic buildings in West Smithfield.

The New Museum will become one of London’s top ten visitor attractions, generating significant economic benefits and bringing over two million visitors a year to the Smithfield area.

Much of the historic fabric of the buildings will be preserved to create cavernous and atmospheric spaces both above and below ground. These spaces will allow the museum to showcase more of its collection and be capable of hosting a broader range of displays, exhibitions, learning activities and events. Through the project, the ambition is to reach every schoolchild in London, providing a world-class learning offer to help the next generation develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the great city they live in.

The planning application from the museum covers the General Market and Poultry Market, where the new museum will be based, and a suite of buildings known as The Annexe, which includes the Fish Market, Red House and Engine House. A Listed Building Consent Application for the Grade II-listed Poultry Market has also been secured.

The new Museum of London – to be rebranded The London Museum – will play a key role in the City of London Corporation’s Destination City initiative, which is transforming the Square Mile’s leisure offer to create a leading destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.

Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, Chris Hayward said:

“I am thrilled to welcome the approved plans for the new Museum of London and the cultural transformation of Smithfield which will support our Destination City vision for the Square Mile as a seven-day-a-week visitor destination.

“This landmark project will not only provide a modern and immersive museum experience but will breathe new life into this historic site and have a positive impact for the city, its residents and visitors.”

City of London Corporation Planning Applications Sub-Committee Chairman Shravan Joshi said:

“This approval is a key milestone for the new museum, which will be an exceptional attraction that is open and accessible to all. This project will play an integral part in our Destination City plans by boosting the Square Mile’s leisure offer for visitors, workers and residents.

“As well as being an exceptional attraction in its own right, the new museum will bring substantial economic, environmental, cultural and social benefits for London as whole.”

Director of the Museum of London, Sharon Ament said:

“We have made huge strides forward with our work at Smithfield to protect these historic market buildings and create the foundations for a new, modern museum which reaches the highest standards of sustainability in both build and operation.

“We are in the process of creating what will be one of the most remarkable museums, I am convinced of this every time I take someone on a tour of the site.

“The progress we’ve made so far would not have been possible without the collaboration of our partners, including the City of London Corporation, the Mayor of London, Arts Council England and many other generous donors. We’re excited to move ahead with the next chapter of our work and engage with thousands of Londoners as we begin the countdown to opening in 2026!”