Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester, is in the final phase of its £15 million transformation project, hello future, and has announced it will reopen its doors to the public in February 2023.
The museum had hoped to reopen by the end of 2022, however the challenges of the pandemic has resulted in a short delay.
The ambitious and complex project will see the museum’s beautiful building transformed.
A two-storey extension has extended its footprint by 25%, and there has been extensive reconfiguration of existing spaces.
Over 18,000 objects have had to be either moved or protected from building work and as much material as possible is being reused or recycled.
hello future won Project of the Year at the 2021 North-West Construction Awards, with the judges commenting that collaboration is at the heart of its success.
New galleries will include a stunning Exhibition Hall, which will host the internationally successful Golden Mummies of Egypt.
There will also be a new Belonging Gallery, the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery, and a South Asia Gallery in partnership with the British Museum.
The South Asia Gallery is the first ever permanent exhibition space in the UK dedicated to exploring the stories, experiences, and contributions of South Asian communities.
The museum will also gain a stylish new shop and café, and inclusive facilities including Changing Places toilets, a prayer space, a quiet room, therapy space, and picnic area.
Accessibility and circulation are being improved with a new ramped entrance from Oxford Road leading to a Welcome Area that will feature extraordinary objects.
The project is supported using funding by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The University of Manchester, and the generosity of numerous philanthropic supporters.
“Despite the challenges we have faced during the pandemic, our team and partners have never lost faith in our vision for a reimagined Manchester Museum that is more caring, inclusive and imaginative,” said Manchester Museum’s director, Esme Ward.
“We’re incredibly grateful to our visitors and communities for their patience while we undergo this huge transformation, and we can’t wait to reopen our doors in 2023.”
Throughout the closure, the museum is holding online and pop-up events, and the collections are available to explore online.