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Engineering a new future for the Brunel Museum

We are delighted to share that we have received planning permission for a new welcome pavilion to provide transform the visitor experience at the Museum. The permission will also help us provide a home for our collection of Thames Tunnel drawings and archives.

The Museum sought Planning Permission and Scheduled Monument consent after consulting with many local organisations and holding a well-attended an open day last September. The lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic made face to face consultation impossible for a time, but the Museum persevered utilising a range of methods from Zoom consultations, Twitter polls and telephone conversations with local residents.

The Brunel Museum is home to one of Rotherhithe’s best loved open spaces and the Museum plans to retain the Tunnel Shaft Garden and the adjacent ‘Piazza’ as an open space for community activities. Adjacent to the Tunnel Shaft entrance, to the south, the Museum will create a new Pavilion to welcome visitors and provide improved facilities for visitors and staff.

The refurbished Engine House will provide new displays and interpretation, giving the incredible Thames Tunnel Archive drawings a permanent home and offering our visitors stories of the site and the Brunel’s, in engaging contemporary ways.

“Planning permission is a really important milestone for this project” said Director Katherine McAlpine, “But there is so much more to this project than just the new building. By providing better, more up-to-date facilities, we can offer w a much broader range of activities for our local community, from family workshops to new schools programmes, from cultural performances to afterschool clubs. We’re really excited to have met this milestone and will continue working with our community partners to deliver this project”.

Partially funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Museum is actively fundraising for the remaining money and has successfully secured £23,000 in grants already. A number of other applications that have been submitted are being considered in January 2022 and the Museum is confident that more funds will follow soon to make this dream a reality.

Find out more about the Brunel Museum Reinvented Project here.

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