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Sir Terence Conran donates £17.5 million to Design Museum

London SE1 website team

Sir Terence Conran is to donate the proceeds of the sale of the lease on the Design Museum's Shad Thames building to the museum. The sale is expected to raise £10 million which will be added to a £7.5 million cash gift.

Sir Terence Conran donates £17.5 million to Design Museum
The lease on the Design Museum's Shad Thames home is worth about £10 million

As the Design Museum prepares to leave its riverside home at Shad Thames for the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington, the museum's founder has announced a major gift from the Conran Foundation.

This gift will bring the Conran Foundation's support for the museum, and its predecessor, the Boilerhouse, over the last 30 years to £50 million.

Sir Terence Conran, who celebrates his 80th birthday in October this year, met the prime minister and the culture secretary at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday in recognition of his continued support for the Design Museum.

"Moving to the Commonwealth Institute will allow all our dreams and ambitions for the Design Museum to come true, to create a world class space with the size and scope for the serious promotion and celebration of design and architecture in this country," says Sir Terence Conran.

"I am also uplifted by the support we are receiving from Government, who
recognise the enormous contribution the creative industries make to the economy and the quality of life of ordinary people.

"Design, manufacturing and business are completely interlinked and one cannot succeed without the other."

The museum's new home is expected to be completed in 2014, leaving the former banana warehouse at Butler's Wharf ready for a new occupant.

• Later this year the Design Museum will stage a major retrospective exhibition exploring Sir Terence's impact on modern life.

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