Design Museum gets boost from Conran for Commonwealth Institute Move
A significant donation of £17.5m from Sir Terence Conran has been promised to the Design Museum.
This will be a large boost to the museums program to move from its current location in Shad Thames to the iconic Commonwealth Institute in Kensington.
Last December the Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt announced plans for this sort of philanthropy as part of his departments, ‘Big Society’ drive. It will be organized in conjunction with the Arts Council fund to promote art and design in Britain.” Private giving”, is a Government initiative to encourage gifts of works of art to the nation all add up to a substantial boost to Jeremy Hunt’s drive to create a culture of philanthropy in the UK.
Sir Terence Conran announced that he is giving cash and donations in kind to the Design Museum, helping them to create the world’s leading museum of contemporary design and architecture at the site of the old Commonwealth Institute in London. This gift brings Sir Terence and the Conran Foundation’s support for the museum to £50m over the last 30 years. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the “exceptionally generous” gift, saying it “will not only help this excellent cultural institution move to a new home, but will also help showcase Britain’s ability to produce some of the world’s greatest designers”.The designer – who turns 80 this year – currently owns the lease on the building, which is thought to be worth £10m. The donation, combined with financial support over the last 30 years, brings the Conran Foundation’s contribution to the museum and its predecessor to £50m.”It is my ambition to have the world’s greatest design museum. We are thought of as the greatest creative nation in the world so why not have the best, most beautiful design museum?” He stated that they “simply don’t have the space at the moment” in the existing Thameside facility, while the task of raising the remainder of the money for the project has been “made much easier by the government’s enthusiasm for design”.