Attractions industry news

27 Aug 2019

London Fire Brigade to transform former headquarters into museum

The London Fire Brigade's (LFB) former headquarters ‒ a Grade II listed building across the River Thames from the Houses of Parliament ‒ is being transformed into a new and permanent home for the Brigade's museum, which currently operates as a pop-up on Lambeth High Street.

Planning permission has been sought from Lambeth Council for the development, which is part of wider proposals made by the LFB and its development partner U+I to deliver a modern fire station, more than 400 new homes (many of them shared ownership and low-cost rent) and new workspaces that will support more than 1,250 jobs through the 8 Albert Embankment redevelopment.

If permission is granted by the council, it is hoped that the facility would be ready by 2023, giving visitors a chance to see inside a fully operational fire station, with historic fire engines displayed alongside.

A CGI image of the museum has been produced by architects Pilbrow & Partners, and Jane Stern, curator of the museum, said: "The CGI is just a taste of the exciting things it will have to offer ‒ from rare historic artefacts to unique equipment that will tell the story of the fire brigade in London since the Great Fire of London.

"Our museum collection contains around 20,000 items, most of which have been in storage since our old museum closed. Our new permanent home will give us the opportunity to showcase more artefacts from our history than ever before."

The new museum will also create public access for the first time to a listed building of great significance, including the Brigade's Memorial Hall, which honours firefighters that have lost their lives in peace and war since Victorian times. The London Fire Brigade's educational programme will also be expanded, as the museum will have a designated learning centre and will be able to accommodate up to 17,500 school children every year.

In September 2015, the old London Fire Brigade Museum was closed as part of plans that it should be part of the 8 Albert Embankment development. The collection was put into storage. Since the opening of the temporary pop-up museum at The Workshop in November 2016, more than 60,000 visitors have come through its doors.

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