Manchester Museum awarded multi-million pound funding

Manchester Museum - current Courtyard Entrance, image courtesy Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum has been awarded a grant of £4,215,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for a major capital project.  The funds will be used to develop and transform the museum by providing new exhibition space, the North’s first South Asian gallery and an ambitious programme of activities.

The news follows the previous round of development funding awarded by Heritage Lottery Fund to Manchester Museum in 2016 to help the museum progress its initial plans.

Through ‘The Courtyard project’, Manchester Museum aims to become the UK’s most imaginative, inclusive and caring museum building on its commitment to becoming an ever more powerful source of inspiration and learning.  The museum expects hundreds of thousands of new visitors each year, including an additional 11,000 school children.

Oxford Road approach to Manchester Museum’s proposed entrance, credit: Purcell UK
Oxford Road approach to Manchester Museum’s proposed entrance, credit: Purcell UK

Work is due to start in august 2018, with the finished building reopening in late 2020 with:

  • A major new 451 m2 Temporary Exhibitions Gallery enabling the museum to become the North of England’s leading venue for producing and hosting international-quality exhibitions on human cultures and the natural world.
  • The North of England’s first large-scale gallery of South Asian history and culture, created in partnership with the British Museum, bringing together the very best of Manchester Museum’s own South Asian collections and world-class sculpture, textiles and artefacts from the British Museum. It will be the UK’s first permanent gallery to explore the stories, experiences and contributions of diaspora communities. At the heart of the gallery will be a unique performance space, dedicated to showing the very best live music, dance and performance from and inspired by South Asia.  Plans for a permanent South Asia Gallery were boosted in 2017 through a major gift to Manchester Museum by Shalni and Simon Arora through the Savannah Wisdom Foundation.
  • A new Oxford Road-facing entrance, welcome area and shop, to create a more visible and welcoming first impression.
  • Underpinning the transformation, there will be a dynamic co-created participatory programme to imaginatively address some of the key issues of our time; climate change, ageing, migration and belonging.
Entrance Elevation of Manchester Museum's proposed entrance, credit: Purcell UK
Entrance Elevation of Manchester Museum’s proposed entrance, credit: Purcell UK

News of the grant follows the announcement of £5 million towards the South Asia Gallery in November 2015 by the Treasury.

Development of Manchester Museum is expected to cost a total of £12.7 million.

Courtyard: View from Coupland Street of the Special and South Asian Galleries
Courtyard: View from Coupland Street of the Special and South Asian Galleries

Speaking about the award and transformation of Manchester Museum, Esme Ward, Director of the museum commented, “With new world-class spaces for extraordinary objects and stories, more volunteering opportunities and imaginative partnerships, Manchester Museum will reflect and explore the needs, interests and opportunities of the diverse communities we serve. The project will develop and transform the museum to bring more wonder and inspiration from around the world to the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.”

Editorial Team

Author: Editorial Team

Live Manchester editorial team