The Museum of London and the Worshipful Company of Weavers today announce a £100,000 donation towards the creation of the new Museum of London, one of the largest and most significant cultural projects happening anywhere in Europe.
This generous gift, one of the largest ever awarded by the Company, will support the Museum’s plans to create a spectacular new home for the history of London and its people, in the beautiful but largely disused market buildings at West Smithfield.
With a pipe roll mention in 1130 and a Royal charter from 1155, the Company is the oldest surviving Livery Company in the City of London, and has a long history of supporting the City and charitable giving. The Company remains deeply committed to the United Kingdom textile industry, supporting both the education and training of young people and the UK’s textile and weaving colleges, celebrating UK weaving success and the wider textile industry.
James Gaselee, The Weavers’ Company Clerk, said:
“Weaving has been central to the growth and wealth of London from before the 12th century, when our records began. The growth of Spitalfields as a silk weaving area in the 18th century and now the renaissance of modern craft weaving in London is testament to the integral partnership between the weaving trade and the prosperity of our capital city. The Weavers’ Company is therefore delighted to be supporting the Museum of London in helping tell the story of not only this great city but also the ancient guilds that plied their trade within it.”
Sharon Ament, Museum of London Director, said
“Today’s announcement is the latest important step on our journey to West Smithfield, and what better way to start the New Year. The Weavers’ Company not only represent a long and prosperous history but a deep-rooted commitment to the future through their support and investment into young people and the textile industry across the country. The synergies between these ambitions and our own are manifold. Off the back of a successful planning decision last Summer this is important momentum for the project as our plans develop.”
The City of London Corporation has made an unprecedented investment into the project by putting forward £197 million of the £337 million needed to deliver the scheme. A substantial contribution of a capped £70m has also been made by the Mayor of London, which was announced in January 2017.
The Museum of London has continued in its fundraising efforts, securing a total of £27 million so far, leaving a further £43 million to raise before the project is delivered. It has already received generous donations of £10m from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and their affiliated Charity, £10m from the Linbury Trust and £5m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Global law firm, DLA Piper, is the project’s inaugural Corporate Champion.
The museum’s masterplan for the West Smithfield site received planning permission at the end of June 2020.
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About the Museum of London
The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.
About the Worshipful Company of Weavers
- The Worshipful Company of Weavers is oldest of the 110 City of London Livery Companies. The Company’s charitable objectives are to support work in four specific areas of interest: Supporting the woven textile industry through scholarships, providing technical training to apprentices, provision of equipment to universities and supporting an “entry to work” scheme for the Textile Industry. This scheme has placed over 60 students in work since 2015. The Company has made grants and donations of over £1 million since 2015.
- The rehabilitation of offenders, particularly young offenders, both in prison and after release and helping young people at risk of criminal involvement to stay out of trouble. Donations have amounted to £1.2 million since 2015 across the United Kingdom.
- Supporting three Primary Schools in Inner London with grants totalling £250,000 since 2015
- The Company supports London’s elderly and vulnerable through the provision of an Almshouse in Wanstead, called Weavers’ House. This has a total of 39 flats and currently provides sheltered accommodation for 43 residents.