Geffrye Museum development

Geffrye Museum development: View of café in refurbished former pub on Cremer Street. Image: Wright and Wright Architects Ltd

A £15m plan to redevelop the Geffrye Museum was approved by Hackney Council this week.

The director of the Grade I-listed Hoxton museum said he was “thrilled” that the green light had been given to the scheme, which will increase the proportion of the property open to the public from 30 to 70 per cent.

Previous redevelopment plans for the museum, which explores the home from 1600 to the present day, were rejected in 2014 after a successful campaign to protect a derelict pub on the corner of the site, which would have been demolished.

The new project, dubbed Unlocking the Geffrye and led by architecture firm Wright and Wright, includes plans to restore and extend the pub, with a café on the ground floor.

The Geffye Museum. Photograph: Jayne Lloyd

The Geffrye Museum. Photograph: Jayne Lloyd

David Dewing, Director of the Geffrye Museum, said: “We have been thrilled by the support we’ve received for Unlocking the Geffrye and are delighted that Hackney Council has approved our plans.

“Developing the museum will ensure our buildings and gardens are safeguarded for future generations and many more people from Hackney and beyond will be able to enjoy the Geffrye, be inspired by our collections and take part in our activities.”

As well as opening up more of the museum to the public, the project aims to improve accessibility – with a new entrance opposite Hoxton Overground Station – and offer more for visitors by creating a Home Gallery, library and study.

Work on the redevelopment is expected to start at the end of 2017, with the museum being closed for up to 18 months during the project.

The museum has already received an £11m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the work. Mr Dewing added: “With planning secured, we can now really step up our fundraising campaign to make our vision a reality.”

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, said: “The Geffrye has been a focal point for East London’s creative scene for over 100 years, so I am delighted that Hackney Council has approved the museum’s exciting plans for the future.

“The development will boost the Geffrye’s longstanding local community links and ensure the museum continues to provide a much-needed cultural and educational resource in Hackney.”

Support us


The coronavirus outbreak has meant that the Hackney Citizen has been unable to print a monthly newspaper for the last three months.

The need for quality news and reliable reporting is crucial - however, this is an increasingly challenging time for local journalism.

Our main source of income, print advertising revenue, fell suddenly - and so we are asking you, the readers, for your help.A one-off donation from anyone who can afford it will help our small team get our newspaper back in print and keep the website and social media feeds running through this unprecedented crisis.

Find out how you can donate.

Thanks in advance for your support, and stay safe.