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Museum of British History, London

Project management of planned development of major new national museum

Project Description

Retained as Project Manager by the Rt. Hon. the Lord Baker of Dorking, Jonathan Rounce spent three years coordinating the project team and editorial panel that were brought together for the development of the proposed new Museum of British History; working from concept through detailed design and funding to launch.

The project, to be developed on the site of the former St Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London, comprising some 15,000m2 of display space, costed at £110m and projected to attract upwards of 1.3m visitors a year, was conceived by Lord Baker, who had served as Secretary of State for Education under Margaret Thatcher.

The museum was designed to present a comprehensive history of Britain through 5-themed zones: The British People, Politics & The Monarchy, Language & Culture, The British Landscape and Invention, Science & Technology.

Lord Baker’s vision for the Museum was inspired by a visit he made to the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Chaultepec Park,  in Mexico City and his heartfelt belief that existing UK museums, specifically the British Museum, failed to show a comprehensive history of the nation and it’s evolution.

It was not intended to be a collection-based museum, with an extensive collection and the associated staff-intensive curatorial teams needed to manage those collections, but a modern museum using the latest technology and interpretation methodologies to bring Britain’s history to life. That said, it was however intended to supplement the displays with items, artefacts and treasures loaned from other national museums.

Unfortunately the Museum’s development was dependent upon a £50m ‘landmark grant’ from the Millennium Commission which in the event, was given to the British Museum to fund their Courtyard scheme and so the project stalled.

Project Details

  • Client Museum of British History Ltd
  • Date September 16, 2013
  • Tags Project Management / Attraction Development, Business Planning & Financial Modeling, Funding Advice & Assistance, Museums
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