Generous gift from the Garfield Weston Foundation bolsters the British Academy’s redevelopment project

15 Jul 2022

The British Academy has today announced a £500,000 gift from the Garfield Weston Foundation to support the Academy’s major building programme.

The UK’s national Academy for the humanities and social sciences, established in 1902, will undertake a major re-design of its building in London led by Wright & Wright, an architecture firm specialising in educational and cultural institutions. The scheme will centre on the addition of the latest hybrid event technology, allowing the public and a global audience to connect with the work of the Academy.

The £9 million development will transform a warren of corridors and rooms in the Academy’s lower floors into three, double-height event spaces technologically equipped for conferences, lectures, workshops, festivals and performances.

The new event spaces will enable the Academy to broadcast its programming internationally, taking its reach beyond London and to a wider and more diverse audience. The upgrade of the building is just one part of a programme to transform the British Academy, set to publish a new strategy this year.

Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said:

“The redevelopment project is integral to our vision for the Academy’s future as the home of the humanities and social sciences. The new state-of-the-art premises – designed by Wright & Wright – will allow us to further grow our global networks, bringing together researchers, academics, policymakers and the public. The Garfield Weston Foundation’s generous donation provides not only material support – it is also a vote of confidence in our work and the value of the humanities and social sciences to society. We are very grateful for their support.”

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said:

“The Trustees are delighted to support this project and hope the grant will enable the British Academy to inspire and engage people in the importance and relevance of the humanities and social sciences. The Foundation’s support reflects the Academy’s aim to broaden its reach and impact and we look forward to following the project as it develops.”

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For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 07500 010 432.

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