Major donation moves plans for permanent South Asia gallery a step closer

A major gift by Shalni and Simon Arora through the Savannah Wisdom Foundation and B&M Retail has given a significant boost to the fundraising effort for a new permanent South Asia Gallery, which will be the first in the country to present the deep history of South Asia and the story of the community in the UK.

The Gallery will explore the history and culture of South Asia and its relationship with communities in the North West of England. It will be developed in close consultation with local communities and done in a way that will engage the city-region’s diverse communities, day visitors and tourists.

The new gallery, which is being developed in partnership with the British Museum will form the centrepiece of Manchester Museum’s new £12.4 million expansion.  The development of the museum will include a larger space for temporary exhibitions, a new entrance and public facilities.

Work on the expansion is set to run from May 2018 until early 2020.

Manchester Museum Architect's Render of New Entrance Architect - impression image credits Design by ZMMA

Manchester Museum Architect’s Render of New Entrance Architect – impression image credits Design by ZMMA

The Director of Manchester Museum, Dr Nick Merriman, said ‘We are absolutely delighted at this generous commitment of support from Shalni and Simon Arora. It demonstrates the great enthusiasm this project is generating, and we hope that this lead gift will prompt others to join in to help realise this significant project’.

Shalni Arora said ‘This is an important project for our city and region, celebrating the history and culture we all have in common. The space will also allow the South Asian diaspora in particular to connect with its identity, something we risk losing through the generations.’

90% of the necessary funding has now been committed by the Government, Heritage Lottery Fund, University of Manchester, and various foundations and individuals.