Plans to open a Science Gallery attraction at Guy's Hospital have moved a step closer following grants totalling £7 million from the Wellcome Trust and Guy's and St Thomas' Charity.
King's College London says the £12 million attraction – aimed at 15 to 25-year-olds – could open in two years' time following confirmation of grants of £3 million from the Wellcome Trust and £4 million from Guy's and St Thomas' Charity.
The scheme will include free-to-visit exhibition galleries, a theatre, cafe, courtyard and informal meeting spaces.
"Science Gallery at King's – a flagship project for culture at King's – will bring together art and science in new and innovative ways, stimulating alternative perspectives and engaging a younger audience with science, health and culture," said Deborah Bull, director of cultural partnerships at King's College London.
"I'm very pleased to have appointed an outstanding Director in Dr Daniel Glaser and profoundly grateful to Wellcome Trust and Guy's and St Thomas' Charity for their support and for their belief in this exciting new venture."
Dr Daniel Glaser said: "It is incredibly exciting to be able to share our plans to open the nation's leading venue for science and art collaboration.
"Science Gallery at King's College London will give us a completely new way to engage audiences with science, art and innovation. The gallery will be a live space where scientific themes and ideas will be explored and debated through the lens of culture by contributors and visitors.
"People from every background and discipline can come together to innovate, explore research and ask challenging questions, in an accessible and welcoming way. We hope that the changing locally-driven programme, which will bring science, technology and health into dialogue with the arts and design, will see visitors return regularly for free to enjoy the space and the experience."
The attraction will be part of an international network of science galleries based on the original at Trinity College Dublin.
Michael John Gorman, chief executive of Science Gallery International, said: "The position of the gallery at such a high profile location at London Bridge, adjacent to Guy's Hospital, Borough Market and the Shard, should guarantee huge public interest in its programmes from the outset.
"We are delighted that with this transformative support from Wellcome Trust and the Guy's and St Thomas' Charity the gallery can be developed as a dynamic public platform for innovation, engagement and debate at the interface between science, healthcare and the arts drawing on a vibrant local community.
"We look forward to sharing ideas, projects and approaches between the galleries at Trinity College Dublin, King's College London and future members of the emerging Science Gallery Network as we work together to inspire and enable 15-25 year olds to become the innovators of the future and build new approaches to public engagement at the interface between the university and the city."