Migration Museum secures permanent home in the City of London

After a 10-year journey, the Migration Museum is delighted to announce that it has been given the green light for a permanent home in the City of London.

The City of London’s planning applications sub-committee approved plans today (Tuesday 21 February 2023) for a new development at 65 Crutched Friars, which will provide a state-of-the-art permanent home for the Migration Museum on the bottom three floors of a new student accommodation development, in partnership with real estate company Dominus.

The new venue, a stone’s throw from Fenchurch Street, Aldgate and the Tower of London, will provide a permanent home for a Migration Museum for Britain exploring how the movement of people to and from these shores has shaped who we all are – as individuals, as communities, and as nations. 

The new museum will encompass interactive temporary and permanent exhibition galleries, flexible event and education space, outdoor areas for programming and activation and a cafe/restaurant and shop that will be a core part of the museum’s offer, showcasing the significant impact of migration on food and business. 

The permanent Migration Museum in the City of London will be allied to a network of venues across the UK providing a platform for people to explore and share migration stories and our connections to each other.

The Migration Museum is currently based in a temporary venue in the heart of Lewisham Shopping Centre in south-east London, where it welcomes around 7,000 visitors a month to its acclaimed exhibitions, events and learning programmes. With the support of Landsec, which owns and manages Lewisham Shopping Centre, we hope to remain in Lewisham until at least 2025-26.

Sophie Henderson, CEO of the Migration Museum, says:

“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 are – as individuals, as communities and as nations. 

“Now more than ever, we need an inspiring space for diverse audiences from across London and beyond to come together to explore, discuss and reflect on key questions around migration, identity and belonging. 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. 

Being based in the City will give us the opportunity to reach and engage audiences from across London, the UK and beyond on a significantly larger scale, while staying true to our ethos and the approaches that are so important to us, with personal storytelling at the core of everything we do.

“Our temporary venue in Lewisham has been a space of real development and reflection for us. We have been welcomed by local communities with open arms, and remain hugely committed to continuing our work within the borough. We hope to remain in Lewisham for at least another two years, and invite the diverse audiences, communities, artists and creatives that we are so proud to serve and co-create our museum with to come with us on this exciting next stage of our journey.”

Henderson added that Dominus was a fitting partner for the Migration Museum in this groundbreaking new development, which presents by far the most viable opportunity to create a permanent Migration Museum for Britain in the charity’s 10-year search for a permanent home.

Dominus’ founder, Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, arrived in the UK as a refugee fleeing Idi Amin’s Uganda, and the family are personally committed to the Migration Museum and the stories that we provide a platform for.

“We are immensely grateful to everyone who has helped us to reach this stage, and to Dominus’ belief in the importance of our museum and the support they are providing in helping us to make it a reality. We look forward to continuing to work closely in partnership with them to help to make our vision for a permanent Migration Museum for Britain a reality.”

We will be sharing more details about our capital fundraising campaign to support the move to our permanent home in due course. 

In the meantime, we wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us over the past 10 years to reach this stage – we really, really couldn’t have got here without you! We look forward to inviting you all to join us on this exciting next phase of our development.

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