Manchester Museum has confirmed that it now expects to reopen to the public in February 2023, slightly later than anticipated.
The museum had hope to reopen by the end of 2022, but challenges brought about by the pandemic have pushed this back slightly. Manchester Museum closed for refurbishments in August 2021.
Manchester Museum is currently in the final phase of its £15million hello future redevelopment project.
The renovation will see the building transformed and extended by 25% with a two-storey extension as well as reconfiguration of existing spaces. The concept won Project of the Year at the 2021 North-West Construction Awards and will include a new Exhibition Hall, gallery and welcome area.
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.
Manchester Museum will also host a new shop and cafe, inclusive facilities including Changing Places toilets, a prayer space, quiet room, therapy space and picnic area, with improve accessibility and circulation.
The renovation is being supported by funds from Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The University of Manchester and donors.
Speaking about reopening next February, Manchester Museum Director Esme Ward said, “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.
“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.”
Over 18,000 objects have either been moved or protected from building work and as much material as possible is being reused or recycled. During the closure Manchester Museum continues to hold online and pop-up events.