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Major museum revamp plans land lottery cash

Museum redevelopment projects by Foster + Partners, John Pawson, ZMMA and Cooper Cromar have received a cash boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) London, the new Design Museum, the V&A and the Tank Museum in Dorset will share the huge £15.9 million windfall.

The HLF has handed £4.5 million towards he creation of World War galleries as part of Foster’s plans for the IWM in south London, while the Design Museum is set to receive £4.65 million towards its new home in the Grade II-listed Commonwealth Institute in Kensington.

Pawson’s proposed renovation involves creating both permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, improving access and increasing overall capacity.

New Design Museum by John Pawson Ltd (Image by Alex Morris Visualisation)

New Design Museum by John Pawson Ltd (Image by Alex Morris Visualisation)

Sue Bowers, head of the HLF, said she hopes the project will give a new lease of life to the abandoned 1960s building and the museum: ‘With three times the space of the museum’s former home in Shad Thames, visitors will be able to better appreciate Britain’s considerable design achievements.’

Funds from the HLF will also contribute to ZMMA’s restoration of the V&A’s Europe galleries. The current 1970s styling will be stripped back to reveal the original Aston Webb architecture resulting in the creation of almost 50 per cent more floor-space. A low-carbon environmental control system will also be introduced along with improved step-free access.

Since the launch of the National Lottery, the HLF have pledged £1.42 billion to UK museums and galleries, making it the largest source of funding for capital investment in this sector.

Ed Vaizey, minister of culture, commented on the importance of the HLF’s support adding: ‘I’m delighted that the investment will benefit such a wide variety of institutions.’

The latest cash injections coincide with this summer’s Olympic Games and aim to preserve the world-class reputation of British museums in what HLF chief executive Carole Souter calls ‘a momentous year.’

Dorset’s Tank Museum – the only museum outside the capital to receive investment – has been awarded a grant of £2.5 million in addition to the £9.5 million it was given for a phased redevelopment project in 2005. Cooper Cromar has drawn up the designs for a new Vehicle Conservation Centre capable of housing the museum’s entire collection indoors for the first time.

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