Lambeth Council has pledged more than half a million pounds to the Black Cultural Archives to refurbish its building, with hopes to make the institution less reliant on grants or subsidies.

The authority is expected to approve a conditional grant of £621,960 to refurbish grade II listed Raleigh Hall – where the institution has called home for the last five years.

This follows a £250,000 council grant in 2018 to support its transition to a more “sustainable operating model.”

Since then the institution has introduced charges to key exhibitions and events, and reviewed its cafe and shop hires.

“The Black Cultural Archives has also sought to improve the visitor experience and improve its programming and reconfigure the ground floor spaces

of the building to support the future potential of commercial income generation and additional grant funding from non-council sources,” a council report said.

“They are now developing a new five year business plan to move the organisation into a position where they become less reliant on public funding sources by 2023-2024.”

The archives, established in 1981, are a national institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of diverse people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain.

It showcases exhibitions, events and has education opportunities.

In 2007 the council made a commitment to to invest in Raleigh Hall and transfer it to the Black Cultural Archives under a 99 year lease at peppercorn rent, the report outlined.

The council will release the new funding when key milestones, expected to be agreed this month, are reached.

They will relate to making changes to the building to enable a better  reconfiguration of the ground floor space.

The conditions will be overseen by the council’s director of enterprise, jobs and skills.