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£12.3m National Lottery grant to 'unlock' the Geffrye Museum

proposed cross section of the museum building

Geffrye Museum development - cross section of main building © Wright & Wright Architects

The Geffrye Museum of the Home's ambitious expansion plans have taken a major step forward today thanks to a £12.3m* National Lottery grant to support the £18.1m project. The Unlocking the Geffrye development will greatly improve access and enhance the experience of all visitors to the museum's Grade I listed buildings and gardens in Hoxton, East London. 

Sonia Solicari, Director of the Geffrye, said "This National Lottery grant is a massive boost and endorsement for the project, for which we are hugely grateful. With this crucial funding secure, alongside the £4.3m we have already raised, we can now press ahead with raising the final £1.5m to make our vision a reality. With support from trusts and foundations, donors and our visitors we will make the Geffrye a better, even more inspiring place for all." 

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said “This is an imaginative project to improve the Geffrye’s capacity to tell the evolving story of British domestic life over the last three centuries. The existing site’s combination of historic buildings, collections, period rooms and gardens will be greatly enhanced thanks to major support from the National Lottery. Close to Hoxton Station and with plans for a new café and other improved visitor facilities, the Geffrye is set to become a focal point for heritage and culture in the East End of London.” 

Clare Wright of Wright & Wright Architects said, “At a time when local authorities and schools are struggling financially, it is fantastic that the National Lottery has said yes to this project. It will provide facilities for children, isolated groups and the local community. Every extra penny donated will make it even better!” 

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, said “The Geffrye Museum is one of the highlights of Hackney’s historical and cultural landscape. Over the past year it has been great to support the Geffrye’s ambitious plans and it is wonderful to see them now so strongly backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The planned expansion of the museum is great news for residents and visitors to the borough, who will be able to explore more of this significant historical building and delve deeper into the Geffrye’s collections.” 

Unlocking the Geffrye will mean 70% of the museum's buildings will be open to the public, as opposed to 30% now. New spaces within the existing museum buildings, including a gallery, library, central reception, entrance and cafe, alongside newly built learning and event spaces, will increase the museum's capacity so it will be able to welcome up to 50% more visitors each year, bring many more collections out of storage and explore the theme of home much more broadly. 

Notes to Editors

· For further information: please contact Nancy Loader at or 020 7749 6026, or Emma Dixon at or 020 7749 6031. Press images can be downloaded here: Geffrye Museum development images

· The Geffrye Museum explores the home from 1600 to the present day. Evocative displays of London, middle-class living rooms and gardens illustrate homes and home-life through the centuries, reflecting changes in society, behaviour, style and taste.

· Wright & Wright is an award-winning architectural practice based in London. Well known for its design flair and imagination in significant historic settings, the practice focuses on creating contemporary yet sensitive solutions for museums, libraries, archives and educational institutions. Clients include the V&A, the Royal College of Art, Oxford and Cambridge universities, the Women’s Library and the National Gallery. For further information, please contact Helen Hancock at or 020 7428 9393.

· Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

* The £12.3m grant from HLF is a second round pass. HLF earmarked the funding, which included a development grant, in May 2015. Since then the Geffrye has fully developed the plans, secured planning permission and embarked on a major fundraising campaign. The museum has already secured £4.3m from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, trusts and foundations and individuals.

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on 020 7591 6036/07973 613820 

· Timetable

Planning was secured in July 2016. The priority now is to raise the balance of the funds. The aim is to start the work on site in early 2018, when the museum will close for an 18-month period, and then reopen in late 2019.

22 March 2017

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