World Conservation
and Exhibitions Centre
Now open

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A grant of £10m from the Heritage Lottery Fund has provided resources to enable the Museum to expand its innovative outreach and public engagement.

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Current facilities

The Great Court at the British Museum

To ensure the Museum remains a world leader and a vital international resource, it must take the opportunity to modernise its facilities.

The area proposed for the new Centre was previously taken up with poor-quality temporary buildings, which were not visible to visitors. By replacing these buildings with the new Centre, the Museum can continue to develop and enhance its work.

To guide its development over the next 10 to 15 years, the Museum undertook a masterplanning exercise between 2004 and 2006. The masterplan identified the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre as the most important project.

Watch a video about the new Centre 
Find out more about the new Centre 


Current exhibition spaces

Reading Room at the British Museum

The Reading Room is currently used for special exhibitions

In recent years the British Museum has held a series of extremely popular major exhibitions.

These are currently displayed in the Reading Room. However, this space is not ideal. Lack of good transport access and limited doorway sizes mean it is difficult to move objects into and out of this space.


The new Centre, with a dedicated exhibition space, will allow the display of large international exhibitions which the Museum has previously been unable to accommodate.

Current exhibitions 
Past exhibitions 


Conservation and Scientific Research facilities

Current facilities at the British Museum

Current facilities for conservation are limited

Currently much of our conservation work is carried out in unsuitable buildings on the site. The layout of the facilities, and lack of natural light, presents significant challenges to our experts, and many of the rooms are too small.

The facilities are dispersed across the Museum, as well as off-site, and highly important and sensitive objects often have to be transported in less than ideal conditions.


The new centre will provide state of the art conservation and science facilities that will support the work of our world class experts and staff.

Department of Conservation and
Scientific Research