Organisers at The British Postal Museum and Archive have called Lottery support for a new £4.25 million visitor attraction on the site of the country’s oldest mail centre a “ringing endorsement” of their plans.
© Feilden Clegg Bradley
The proposed new Postal Museum, at London’s Calthorpe House, will allow the public to peruse 400 years of postal history, from red pillar boxes and vans to photos, posters, photographs and every domestic stamp issued since the Penny Black in 1840.
“We are delighted that the HLF has given such a strong indication of its support for a new Postal Museum and Archive,” said Adrian Steel, the Director of the institution, calling its current Clerkenwell home “cramped and inaccessible”.
“It allows us to embark on the next stage of this exciting project to bring the human story of communication, industry and innovation to everyone.”
The Fund will initially offer £250,000, with the remaining £4 million dependent on a second application in 2013.
A “vast expansion” of the Archive’s education and engagement programme and displays on the historic Post Office Underground Railway will be part of the new venue, which is expected to open in 2014 if the bid succeeds.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, took time out from a headline-hitting week to call it “a national treasure of global importance.”
“London plays a central role in its rich history, so it is entirely fitting that this city would house a suitable showcase for the collection, creating a fantastic new visitor attraction to boot,” he added.