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Science Museum

Wellcome awards £10m funding for new Science Museum Medicine Galleries

The Science Museum has been awarded £10 million in funding from the Wellcome Trust for its landmark new Medicine Galleries. Due to be completed in 2019, the £24 million project will transform the first floor of the Science Museum, creating a magnificent new home for the Museum's world-renowned medical collections.

Based on the extraordinary collections of Sir Henry Wellcome and the Science Museum, the new Medicine Galleries will house over 2000 objects – highlighting the very best of the most significant medicine collection in the world. The galleries will reveal personal stories about the transformational power of medicine and provide historical context to our experience of medicine and health today.

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, said: 'The generous support of the Wellcome Trust will help us realise our ambitious plans to create the world's greatest Medicine Galleries. Bringing together the fascinating medical collections of Sir Henry Wellcome, on permanent loan to the Science Museum since 1976, and our own rich medical collections, these Galleries will become a global centre for the public understanding of health and medicine.'

Covering more than 3000m2, the new galleries will be almost double the size of the Museum's existing Medicine Galleries and will be designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. Occupying much of the Museum's first floor, this project will position medicine at the centre of the Science Museum, engaging all visitors with the subject's profound importance to society and science.

Dr Emily Scott-Dearing, Lead Curator, Medicine Galleries, said: 'Our medicine collection documents moments of great medical insight and innovation, major public health challenges and moving patient experiences from the past. It also speaks powerfully to the medical challenges of today and tomorrow, from antibiotic resistance to the obesity epidemic. Ours is a living, growing collection and alongside historic objects the new galleries will showcase our latest acquisitions from the leading edge of clinical medicine and biomedical research.'

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture and Society, Wellcome Trust said: 'Wellcome and the Science Museum have worked together closely for over three decades to create innovative galleries and programmes that engage audiences of all ages with the stories of health and medicine, past and present. The new Medicine Galleries will create one of the world's largest permanent spaces devoted to the place of health in human culture. We are delighted to be the lead funder for this exciting project.'

As well as this generous grant from the Wellcome Trust, the Medicine Galleries have been made possible by an *£8 million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and further support from The Wolfson Foundation. The galleries will be free to visit and are set to open in 2019. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/new_galleries/medicine_gallery

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For further information please contact Julia Murray in the Science Museum Press Office, on 020 7942 4328 or email Julia.murray@sciencemuseum.ac.uk.

Notes to Editors

*This is earmarked funding, meaning that the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so this is an endorsement of outline proposals. The firm award will be confirmed later this autumn.

About the Science Museum

As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum's world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. More information can be found at sciencemuseum.org.uk.

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. It supports bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. www.wellcome.ac.uk

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. hlf.org.uk

About the Wolfson Foundation

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science, health, education and the arts. Since 1955 it has awarded over £800 million (£1.7 billion in real terms) to some 10,000 projects across the UK, all on the basis of expert peer review. www.wolfson.org.uk

Connect via twitter @WolfsonFdn and facebook.com/wolfsonfoundation