Major Heritage Lottery Fund grant for Science Museum

Selection of medical artefacts that form part of the Science Museum's collection
Selection of medical artefacts that form part of the Science Museum's collection

Due to be completed in 2019, the £24million project will transform the first floor of the Science Museum, creating a magnificent new home for the museum’s world-renowned medical collections. Development funding of £400,000 has been awarded by the HLF, enabling further work on the development of the galleries.

Based on the extraordinary collections of Sir Henry Wellcome and the Science Museum, the new Medicine Galleries will house one of the most significant medicine collections in the world. The galleries will reveal personal stories of how our lives have been transformed by changes in medicine and health over the last 500 years. Covering more than 3000m2, the new galleries will be almost double the size of the museum’s existing Medicine Galleries and will be designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects.

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund was hugely impressed with our plans and ambitions to continue the transformation of the Science Museum, and I want to thank them for this award. Work has already begun on developing the Medicine Galleries and we look forward to welcoming visitors to these stunning new galleries in 2019.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “We are delighted to support the Science Museum’s plans to develop their new Medicine Galleries, home to the largest and most significant collection in the world. By creating a truly international exploration of medicine and medical treatments from Roman times to the present day, these remarkable galleries will transform the public’s understanding of the history behind the science that affects us all from birth to death.”

The Wellcome Trust has already agreed to award the museum £10million for the new galleries, subject to other funding, with £500,000 up front for project development. Together with the Wellcome Trust funding, this £8million HLF award will enable the museum to begin in earnest the final stages of fundraising for the £24million Medicine Galleries. The galleries will be free to visit and are set to open in 2019.

Notes to editors

This is earmarked funding, meaning that the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so this is an endorsement of outline proposals. The project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to secure a firm award.

About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3million visitors a year, the museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. More information can be found at the Science Museum website.

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. It supports bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. Visit the Wellcome Trust website for further information.

Further information

Science Museum press office: Will Stanley on 020 7942 4429 or email

HLF press office: Katie Owen on 020 7591 6036 / 07973 613 820.

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