IWM (Imperial War Museums) has secured a £4.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help finance the creation of new ground-breaking First World War Galleries at IWM London.
The Galleries are set to open in June 2014 to mark the First World War Centenary.
Almost twice the size of the current ones, they will enable IWM to display much more from its world-renowned collections.
Original artefacts – from soldiers’ personal items, letters and diaries through to weapons, tanks and artworks – will be exhibited in state-of-the-art, interactive displays exploring the stories of those who lived, fought and died in the Great War.
Alongside the development of the Galleries, IWM have launched a programme of education initiatives.
These include a Youth Panel and Young Reporters, which will reach out to young people across London, invite them to engage with this landmark anniversary and get involved with IWM’s work.
Diane Lees, Director-General, IWM says:
‘The Centenary is a landmark anniversary for Britain and the world and also marks the opening chapter of IWM’s history.
IWM was originally established in 1917 to collect and record everybody’s experiences of the Great War, which was still being fought. Through our new galleries at IWM London and wider Centenary programme, IWM will reconnect people with the First World War and keep the history and personal recollections of the war alive for future generations.’
Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, says:
‘These inspiring plans are entirely fitting to mark the planned First World War commemorations and we are proud to be playing a role as a funder.
The ‘Great War’ was an extraordinary turning point in our history and these galleries will help remind us all – young and old – of the sacrifices that were made and the importance of continuing to learn from its lessons.’
In addition to HLF’s support, IWM has secured £15.3million of the total £35 million First World War Centenary redevelopment project cost.
The project includes new First World War galleries; a reconfigured Central Hall; and improved visitor facilities. The remaining £15.2 million is being sought from a variety of sources including donations from major philanthropists, trusts and foundations, corporate partners, IWM Friends and the public.