£1 million gift from the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation boosts British Academy Transformation

25 May 2023

Images of the interior of the building, taken in September 2019

The Trustees of the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation have generously agreed to donate £1 million to support the redevelopment of the British Academy’s headquarters at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace.

Led by specialist architectural firm Wright & Wright, the £9.6 million redesign will transform a warren of corridors and rooms in the Academy’s lower floors into three brand new, double-height event spaces technologically equipped for a range of events including conferences, lectures, workshops, festivals and performances. The design centres on the addition of the latest hybrid event technology to enable the Academy to broadcast its programming internationally and reach, nurture and connect more leading thinkers and curious minds than ever before in its 120-year history.

Construction began in November 2022, with works set to complete in 2024.

Last year, the Academy announced a lead grant of £5 million from the Wolfson Foundation – part of a major grant of £10 million to support the humanities and social sciences – as well as a £500,000 gift from the Garfield Weston Foundation to support the transformation.

The works are part of a wider strategic plan to transform the British Academy, strengthening its role as a beacon for the humanities and social sciences, and opening up its work and programmes to more audiences than ever before.

Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said: 

“The Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation's generous donation of £1 million is a significant step towards realising our vision for the British Academy's future. With the expert guidance of Wright & Wright, the Academy’s home at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace will undergo a transformative redesign, creating cutting-edge event spaces that will enable us to connect with leading thinkers and curious minds around the world. The addition of hybrid event technology will allow us to reach a wider audience and further our commitment to the value of the SHAPE disciplines in today's society. We are grateful for the foundation's support and their confidence in our mission.”

Professor David Latchman, Chairman of the Trustees of the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation, said: 

“The Wohl Legacy is delighted to support the British Academy, and its important work of strengthening the humanities and social sciences by engaging the public with fresh thinking and debates, while bringing together scholars, government, business and civil society for the good of wider society. Supporting this historic and important London institution and the redesign of the lower ground floor space, adding the latest technology, will certainly widen their global audience, attracting even more diverse and thoughtful discussions, to reinforce the British Academy’s work.”

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