Work starts on £13m redevelopment of V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green

The V&A Museum of Childhood.

The V&A Museum of Childhood has got a new name. - Credit: Ken Mears

Work has begun on a £13million redevelopment of the V&A Museum of Childhood.

The building work has been hailed by the V&A as a major milestone in the transformation of the iconic Grade II*-listed venue in Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green.


Work has started on a £13million redevelopment of the V&A Museum of Childhood. - Credit: Picture Plane

A new name for the museum – Young V&A – has also been unveiled today (September 29).

Director of the V&A, Tristram Hunt, said: "A world-class museum that nurtures curiosity, experimentation and celebrates play, Young V&A will be a global champion for children’s creativity in all its forms.

"This vital investment – working to counter the ongoing effects of Covid-19 on young people’s access to creative education, collaborative play and artistic inspiration – is more urgent than ever. I am delighted we are one step closer to reopening the museum’s doors in 2023."


An image showing a display which focuses on adventure in the museum's imagine gallery. - Credit: Picture Plane

The V&A also announced new acquisitions, including a skateboard owned by Tokyo 2020 medallist Sky Brown.

At 13-years-old, Sky is the youngest professional skateboarder in the world and Britain’s youngest-ever Olympian.

Sky Brown from Great Britain during women's park skateboard at the Olympics at Ariake Urban Park, To

Sky Brown from Great Britain during the women's park skateboard event at the Olympics at Ariake Urban Park, Tokyo, Japan on August 4. - Credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images

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She said: "When kids skate, they forget about what they might be struggling through, and just think about happiness.

"I’m so excited my skateboard will go on show at Young V&A and love the idea of a museum that only exists to inspire young people and help them discover their superpowers. The sky is the limit."

The museum closed its doors in March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of its reopening and to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the V&A in Bethnal Green next year, every school in Tower Hamlets will be offered assemblies, workshops, teacher forums and activities for families with grassroots organisations.

Sessions will be designed to give young people an opportunity to generate ideas inspired by the themes within the new galleries.

AOC Architecture is behind the plans for the fit-out of the museum, which include three galleries, interactive displays, a suite of workshops, a new café and shop.

De Matos Ryan architects were appointed in 2018 to design changes to the museum building with Quinn London carrying out the work.

The V&A is aiming to raise the £13m cost from private philanthropists, trusts and companies.