Planning permission has been granted to build the country’s first national Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens, next to Parliament, with construction starting later this year.
The new Holocaust Memorial will be the national focal point to honour the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust, and other victims of Nazi persecution, including the Roma, gay and disabled people.
The co-located Learning Centre will also focus on subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The world-class facility will give visitors powerful and engaging experiences to learn about the Holocaust and subsequent genocides through a variety of mediums including historic photographs, film footage and audio recordings so that the stories of survivors can be heard by younger generations, present and future.
The government will provide free entry to all visitors, in perpetuity. Government support will supplement funds raised from visitor donations and other charitable contributions to cover the running costs of the Memorial and Learning Centre which is expected to open in 2024. The government has already announced that it will contribute up to £75 million towards construction costs, to be supplemented by £25 million from charitable donations.
Following planning approval, works will start on the site later this year with an anticipated completion date of 2025.
The decision comes on the back of the sad loss of Asa Bruno of Ron Arad Associates, a crucial member of our design team.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
Ed Balls and Lord Pickles, Co-Chairs of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, said:
After an international competition, with 92 entries in total and ten finalists, Adjaye Associates, Ron Arad Architects and Gustafson Porter + Bowman were selected unanimously as the winning team, by a jury including the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Mayor of London, the Chief Rabbi, experts from architecture, art and design, and both first and second-generation Holocaust survivors. The announcement was made on 24 October 2017.
A planning application was submitted to Westminster City Council in December 2018. In November 2019 the Housing Minister decided to call in the planning application for determination at the national level because of the project’s significant effects beyond the immediate locality.
The planning inquiry was held between 6 October 2020 and 13 November 2020. The final decision on planning consent will be made independently by the Housing Minister following the submission of the planning inspector’s report.
The government committed £50 million in 2015 and in 2019 announced an additional £25 million of government money to be matched by charitable donations.