It’s been a busy time for openings, re-openings and renovations and despite the upheaval of the last 18 months, the regions has embraced the challenge.

We’ve picked out eight of the recent openings and re-openings which you may have missed:

Europe’s largest garden project:

The 154-acre RHS Garden Bridgewater opened its gates in Salford.  The biggest horitcultural project undertaken in Europe features a Weston Walled Garden, visitor centre, cafe, teaching allotment, kitchen garden, orchards, woodland play area, Ellesmere Lake, woodland, garden spaces and a Chinese Streamside Garden.

Manchester Jewish Museum:

Manchester Jewish Museum has re-opened following its huge renovation and extension which has been two years in the making.  The museum is house inside a former synagogue built in 1873 and has doubled in size featuring a new gallery, learning studio, kitchen, shop and cafe alongside the majorly renovated synagogue which now doubles as a performance space.


A new fire service museum has opened in Rochdale’s art deco inspired former firestation.  Called Fireground, the museum is more than four times the size of its predecessor which had operated in an old workshop since 1983.  The museum features over twenty enginges dating back to 1741, uniforms, equipment, medals, paintings and models.

The Pankhurst Centre:

The symbolic home of the UK suffrage movement, The Pankhurst Centre, has reopened with its new permanent exhibition At Home With The Pankhurst Family and a new visitor experience.  The exhibition includes the opportunity to visit the parlour where Emmeline Pankhurst called the first meeting of what would come to be known as the suffragette movement.

Contact Theatre:

Manchester’s Contact Theatre has reopened following a £6 million transformation.  The theatre and venue which places youth at its centre closed in December 2017 for major building redevelopment and now returns with new performance spaces, recording studio, health and science development space, offices, social spaces and more

The Black Friar Pub reopens:

Salford’s historic Black Friar Pub has reopened after 15 years with a new interior led by Head Chef Ben Chaplin (previously of 20 Stories).  The pub now features an attached glass restaurant surrounded by greener created as part of the restoration as well as an open kitchen.

Track Brewing Co:

Independent Manchester brewery Track Brewing Co has opened its doors to its brand new taproom located just behind Piccadilly Station.  The taproom is located in the brewery itself giving visitors the opportunity to watch the process from grain to glass.

The ultimate jungle challenge:

TV favourite I’m a Celebrity opened its ultimate jungle encounter in Manchester with the multi-million I’m A Celebrity…Jungle Challenge at Quayside MediaCityUK.  The attraction takes campmates in to the heart of the jungle to navigate a series of physical challenges inspired by the TV show.

Manchester Jewish Museum – image courtesy Chris Payne