V&A reapplies after lottery funding setback

Bid for Exhbition Road extension and underground gallery rejected


London. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has rejected applications for two major building projects in London, at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and the Southbank Centre, which includes the Hayward Gallery. The decisions were partly because of growing competition for lottery money.

The V&A had applied for £8m towards the £42m cost of its extension in Exhibition Road. Designed by Amanda Levete Architects, it will include a large underground gallery. The trustees of the fund “agreed that the project was a high priority for support but, in the light of the available budget, rejected the application”, since it was among the “lowest ranked” of the high-priority cases. The museum is resubmitting its application. Grant applications for more than £5m are considered only once a year, so the V&A has lowered its request to £4,999,000. This will be considered by the fund on 23 July. The museum has raised £30m towards the extension, which is due to be completed in 2017.

The Southbank Centre faces a higher hurdle, since its project, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, was classed as a “medium priority” by the trustees and rejected. A spokesman for the centre, which had requested £10.2m, says that the decision is “disappointing” but that it remains committed to refurbishing the 1960s buildings. “We are confident we will raise the money and we will also reapply,” he says.

At its meeting in April, the lottery fund considered requests that came to £129m, but had only £67m to award. Having finished funding the 2012 London Olympic Games, however, the fund now has more money to dispense.