Hackney Museum has been given more than £200,000 in National Lottery money to update a display on migration and settlement in Hackney.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant is designed to improve how the history of the borough is reflected and make the new display a permanent exhibit.
The project that received the fund is named ‘Reimagining Hackney Museum: Connecting Communities with Collections’ and is still up for consideration for a second round of funding that would come to a total of £1.8m.
Niti Acharya, the museum’s manager, told Eastlondonlines: “The new exhibit will represent the lives of people in the borough, many of whom have migrated from different parts of the world and encourage under-represented voices to share their own stories and memories.”
Acharya added: “This funding and the subsequent upgrades will allow the museum to enhance its support for local schools and community groups as well as help aim to reduce the environmental impact of the museum.”
The exact artefacts that will be on display in the new exhibit have not been announced yet.
In a statement on the council’s website, Hackney councillor Chris Kennedy said: “We’re delighted to receive this support thanks to National Lottery players, which will help to preserve and share the rich local histories at this valued Hackney Museum and continue to reflect the experiences of residents past, present and future.”
The funding is part of the £2.3 billion The National Lottery Heritage Fund has donated to over 5,600 museums.
The history of inward migration to Hackney can be traced back to the 17th century with the arrival of immigrants such as the French Huguenots. As a multicultural borough today, Hackney is home to long-established populations from the Caribbean, Vietnam, Orthodox Judaism, and more recently, Africa and Eastern Europe.
Data collected by Varbes local statistics show that international migration has fallen in recent years from a net inflow of 1671 in 2011 to 605 in 2020. Despite this, Hackney Museum continues to prioritise the communities shared history with migration and settlement.
Acharya said: “The museum provides a trusted space to engage and empower local communities to tell their stories, share their concerns about local issues rooted in a historical context, and understand how their experiences fit alongside others.”