London's Cultural Refurb'

By Rob Last edited 168 months ago
London's Cultural Refurb'

A few stories have popped up in the papers over the past few days which point to a bit of a cash injection in the capital's cultural artery (did we just mix our metaphors then? Apologies if we did).

Here's a quick rundown of the London's arty shopping list for the next couple of years:

A £2.2m building is to be built on the South Bank, near to the Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre. Due to open in 2006 it will be an "architectural centre" incorporating an exhibition space, events space, the Architecture Foundation's office...and a bar.

Londonist's favourite art gallery - the Whitechapel Gallery (pictured) is also set for a bit of an expansion.

The £12m project will take the gallery into the neighbouring Passmore Edwards Library. The new space will be given over to site-specific commissions, the display of rarely seen collections, a new restaurant, bookshop and education room (but no bar). The gallery will also be offering public access to its 100-year-old archive for the first time. Work is scheduled to be finished on the expansion by 2007.

If you can't hang around until 2007 then you can always go and see the new Churchill Museum which is due to open at the Cabinet War Rooms as early as next month.

£13.5m has been spent on the restoration and expansion of the War Rooms which is designed to show "Sir Winston as son, father, soldier and politician," and includes exhibits such as his baby rattle, and the pistol he used during the Boer War. His school reports are also going on display, and it's these that have prompted a spate of 'Wasn't Churchill naughty' stories in the press.

And finally, there's the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, which has won £3.5 million lottery grant to build new galleries, education centre, displays and a "grand entrance".

Apparently the original builders planned a big, fancy façade but ran out of money. 130 years later the work will finally get finished. Some things never change do they?

Last Updated 12 January 2005