Science and Natural History museums enter preliminary discussions for west London sites

by Tom Anstey | 02 Feb 2016

Both London’s Science Museum and Natural History Museum have confirmed they are in preliminary discussions about opening satellite sites as part of the multi-billion pound Old Oak Common redevelopment in west London.

The 30-year Old Oak development plan – conceived as the UK’s largest regeneration project with around 1.35sq km (0.52sq miles) of available space – will include a litany of new leisure projects including a possible new 40,000-capacity home for Queen’s Park Rangers football club, luxury hotels, cinemas, restaurants, commercial space and up to 25,500 new homes.

Additionally, CLAD reported in November that museums, theatre companies, sports and leisure firms have been invited by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) to develop a cultural and sporting hub for the development, designed to create balance with cultural developments in east London such as the Olympicopolis scheme – which incorporates the Olympic Stadium, ArcelorMittal Orbit and London Aquatics Centre.

London mayor Boris Johnson is reportedly keen to bring household names to the development, with a 500,000sq ft (46,000sq m) plot laid out for a building to anchor a cultural quarter within Old Oak Common.

“We can confirm that the Science Museum and Natural History Museum have had discussions regarding Old Oak Common but they are at a very preliminary stage and, at this point of time, the business case still needs to be made,” said a joint statement from both institutions.

A spokesperson for OPDC confirmed to CLAD that discussions with high-profile cultural institutions were still ongoing, adding that the development is open to other museums as Boris Johnson strives to create a new cultural quarter in west London.

A local area consultation is set for Thursday (4 February), while plans are expected to be approved at some point during 2017. The development will be centred around a new transport hub linked with Crossrail and HS2. An estimated 250,000 people will use the station on a daily basis when it opens in 2026.

Boris Johnson is a big supporter of the scheme, which the London mayor says could generate £7bn (US$10.5bn, €9.8bn) a year for the UK’s economy.

Science Museum  Old Oak Common  west London  redevelopment  natural history museum 
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Both London’s Science Museum and Natural History Museum have confirmed they are in preliminary discussions about opening satellite sites as part of the multi-billion pound Old Oak Common redevelopment in west London. The 30-year Old Oak development plan – conceived as the UK’s largest regeneration project with around 1.35sq km (0.52sq miles) of available space – will include a litany of new leisure projects including a possible new 40,000-capacity home
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The Natural History Museum and the Science Museum are in discussions to open a satellite site within Old Oak Common / Shutterstock.com
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