Oxford Road cultural institution says 'hello future'
It’s already the UK’s largest university museum but Manchester Museum is set to get even bigger thanks to Hello Future; a £13.5 million capital expansion.
The museum has reached the final phase of its ambitious transformation project and will temporarily close its doors so construction work can take place. The University of Manchester-owned museum will be closed to the public from 29 August until late 2022 when it will emerge as a cultural space for the 21st century.
The vision to become the most inclusive, imaginative and caring museum you might encounter
The museum wants to "maximise its potential to build understanding between cultures and a more sustainable world; with the vision to become the most inclusive, imaginative and caring museum you might encounter."
Hello Future will include a beautiful two-storey extension and new galleries including a large Exhibition Hall, Belonging Gallery, the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery, and the South Asia Gallery.
The South Asia Gallery, a partnership gallery with the British Museum, will be the first-ever permanent exhibition space in the UK dedicated to exploring the stories, experiences and contributions of South Asian communities.
The Gallery will bring objects from the British Museum to Manchester, to be displayed alongside Manchester Museum’s own extensive South Asian collections. The new gallery aims to inspire the South Asian diaspora community to connect with its own heritage and open up Manchester Museum’s doors to new audiences.
Goodbye to Manchester Museum - for now
The museum will gain an impressive new entrance, shop, café, and inclusive visitor facilities that are fully accessible. Manchester Museum is also a carbon literate museum.
Hello Future is a £13.5million project supported using public funding by Arts Council England and supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The University of Manchester, and the generosity of numerous philanthropic supporters.
It was originally thought that the museum would stay open throughout construction but it has become clear that it will now be closed for at least a year. The museum said: "Although we are delighted to reach this important milestone, it is with a heavy heart that we must temporarily close our doors to the public so that this phase of work can take place safely. The safety of our visitors is always our priority."
Last chance for a selfie with Stan
Manchester Museum’s Director Esme Ward said: “Hello Future is a hugely important project that aims to build understanding between cultures and create a more sustainable world. Once complete, visitors will experience exhibitions that tell new, powerful stories and engage with big ideas.
“We are excited to have reached the final stage of our transformation and I want to reassure our visitors that although our doors will temporarily close, we are still here for you. Manchester Museum exists beyond a building. Throughout the closure, we will be holding pop-up events and outreach programmes, and our collections are all available to explore online.
“We look forward to opening the doors to hello future in 2022 and welcoming visitors to a bigger, more imaginative and even more inclusive museum.”
The museum’s opening hours will be extended until 9pm on 26 and 27 August to give more people the chance to experience the collections before doors close – learn about fascinating fossils, take a selfie with Stan the T-rex, enjoy immersive sound installations and much more. There will also be special performances to mark the occasion. Entry to the museum is free, but spaces are limited and visitors are encouraged to pre-book tickets.
For more information and to book tickets for Manchester Museum’s programme of summer events, Forces of Nature, visit the MM from home website
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