Museum of London gets go-ahead for Smithfield move

The Museum of London has been given the green light to move to nearby Smithfield Market after redevelopment plans for the historic site were abandoned.

The government had previously announced plans to redevelop the Victorian complex in central London, demolishing the historic site in favour of a seven-storey office block and retail outlet. Those plans were thrown out however, when property developer TH Real Estate sold the meat market last month to the City of London Corporation in a £35m (US$50.9m, €46.9m) deal.

The museum announced plans to relocate in March 2015, with management citing a number of problems at its current site including poor accessibility, an ageing building and a poor location.

Although two other options – improvements to the Powell & Moya-designed building and developing a new building on the existing site – were considered, the Smithfield relocation was deemed most viable by museum bosses.

“The Museum of London welcomes the news that the City of London Corporation has purchased the Smithfield Quarter from TH Real Estate,” said a spokesperson. “This makes way for us to achieve our ambition to create a new museum for London and Londoners in West Smithfield by 2021.”

Visitor figures at the Museum of London have more than doubled in recent years and continue to grow. The move is expected to create an additional 5,000sq ft (464.5sq m) of space, with the aim of reaching two million visitors per year. The cost of the move is estimated to be in the region of £70m (US$101.7m, €93.7m).

Museum of London  Smithfield  London  Museum  Meat Market  Mayor of London 
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The Museum of London has been given the green light to move to nearby Smithfield Market after redevelopment plans for the historic site were abandoned. The government had previously announced plans to redevelop the Victorian complex in central London, demolishing the historic site in favour of a seven-storey office block and retail outlet. Those plans were thrown out however, when property developer TH Real Estate sold the meat market last
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Smithfield Market first opened in 1868 at a modern-day cost of £80m
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