Plans to open a museum at a derelict waterworks have been delayed until 2025.

After Islington Council approved the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration last year, it was hoped that the museum could open by the end of 2023.

It has now been confirmed that the project at the former New River Head waterworks in Clerkenwell is aiming for a completion date in 2025.

The delays are believed to be a result of external factors, including economic uncertainty over the last year and construction costs.

In total, the charity has raised £8 million for the scheme, with more than £3 million having been collected since planning permission was granted.

The museum is expected to cost £13 million in total, and will submit a multi-million-pound application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund later this year.

If successful, work will begin at the site, which is to be named after one of the UK’s best-known illustrators, who drew Roald Dahl’s BFG and Matilda, next year.

Once completed, the scheme will see a group of Grade II-listed buildings at New River Head converted into a national centre for illustration, with galleries, learning studio, gardens, cafe, and space for Blake's 40,000-strong archive.

Director Lindsey Glen said: “In addition to the cost of acquiring the site and the conversion works, we’re also fundraising for the costs of our inaugural exhibitions, setting-up learning and community programmes, and some additional gardening and green spaces that will be completed once we’re open.

“Despite high inflation and fast-rising construction costs, we are confident we can secure full funding for the project – amazing value for a brand new cultural centre that will have a huge local and national impact.”

She added: “You can support the centre now by joining as a Friend and keep up to date on project progress.”

Backers of the project include charitable trusts and foundations, philanthropists, Islington Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The centre recently transformed the viewing platform that overlooks the site with new heritage illustration panels by illustrator Nina Chakrabarti.  

Islington Gazette: New heritage illustration panels by illustrator Nina ChakrabartiNew heritage illustration panels by illustrator Nina Chakrabarti (Image: Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration)

These panels near Myddelton Passage tell the story of New River Head, which was once part of a network that supplied water across London.

Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration was founded in 2002 and acquired the New River Head site in 2019.