The Migration Museum received a bumper donation from prominent Indian entrepreneur Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, who has also called for more of the UK’s Indian diaspora to back the Museum.
The Migration Museum is Britain’s first museum dedicated to exploring how the movement of people to and from the UK shaped the country across the ages. Since the start of 2020, the Museum has been based in the heart of Lewisham Shopping Centre in south-east London, where it stages exhibitions, events, and educational sessions throughout the year.
The gift will be used to support the Museum’s ongoing work and help fund unmet overhead costs for exhibitions for the coming year. The local attraction has temporarily closed to visitors while they install their new exhibition, Taking Care of Business. The exhibit launches on 6 April 2022 and will highlight the role that entrepreneurs have played in shaping Britain through personal stories, art installations, and a concept shop that features migrant-led businesses.
The Museum reopened in May 2021 following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, allowing visitors to enjoy their most popular attractions once more. These included Humanæ, a photography project about skin colour and race, and Between here and there, an art exhibition that told the stories of migrant people in transit. The Museum was also home to WALL, an art installation by contemporary artists STIK and Thierry Noir painted on two rare surviving sections of the Berlin Wall.
Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia is a leading London-based Indian entrepreneur. Ahluwalia arrived in the UK as a refugee in 1972 after his family was forced to flee the brutal regime of Idi Amin in Uganda. He subsequently found success in the UK, first as the founder of Euro Car Parts, Europe’s largest car parts distributor, before going on to found UK property developer Dominvs Group. Ahluwalia is currently in the process of returning to India.
Alongside the gift, Ahluwalia has been appointed as the Museum’s Patron of India, and has called on more members of the Indian diaspora in the UK to support the efforts of the Museum, especially in its goal of finding a permanent long-term home. He has also been
Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia said: “The Migration Museum and the team play a hugely important role in the UK. Britain’s migration history is at the heart of our national story, and the Museum is doing important work to tell this story in a positive way.
“As I start to think about the next phase of my life in India, I have been struck by the importance of migrants telling their own stories in their own words. It is essential that these stories have a permanent long-term home. I would urge more members of the Indian diaspora to back this important project.”
Sophie Henderson, Director of the Migration Museum, added: “We are grateful to Sukhpal for his generous donation, which will support our future exhibitions, events and education work and our ongoing efforts to create a permanent landmark museum that explores how migration has made us who we are – as individuals, as communities, and as nations.
We are also thrilled to feature Sukhpal’s story alongside other inspiring stories from entrepreneurs with migrant heritage in our next exhibition, Taking Care of Business, opening in April. If you, like us, believe that migration belongs at the heart of our national story and cultural landscape, come and visit us, explore more stories like Sukhpal’s and share yours, and help us to realise our vision for a permanent Migration Museum for Britain.”