Art & Culture

Manchester Museum to temporarily close for the final stage of £13.5m transformation

'hello future' will transform and develop the museum to become more "inclusive, imaginative and caring".

The Manc The Manc - 10th August 2021

Manchester Museum will close after reaching the final phase of its ambitious transformation project to allow construction work to take place.

The iconic museum – which is part of the University of Manchester – first opened doors in 1890 and boasts a collection of about 4.5 million items from every continent, but for the past two years it’s been working towards an exciting new £13.5 million development.

Intended to become “more inclusive, imaginative and caring to the diverse communities it serves”, the hello future project involves a two-storey extension and several 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 will be the first ever permanent exhibition space in the UK dedicated to exploring the stories, experiences, and contributions of South Asian communities.

hello future will transform and develop the museum to become more inclusive, imaginative and caring / Credit: Chris Bull / Manchester Museum
The South Asia Gallery will be the first ever permanent exhibition space in the UK dedicated contributions of South Asian communities / Credit: Chris Bull / Manchester Museum

Esme Ward, Director of Manchester Museum, 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 [as] Manchester Museum exists beyond a building [and] throughout the closure, we will be holding pop-up events and outreach programmes, and our collections are all available to explore online.”


She added: “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.”

As well as welcoming hello future, the £13.5 million transformation – which has been supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The University of Manchester, and the generosity of numerous philanthropic supporters – Manchester Museum will also gain an impressive new entrance, shop, café, and inclusive visitor facilities.

The museum will be closed to the public from 29 August until late 2022 – when it will emerge as “a museum for the 21st century”.


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, and there will also be some special performances to mark the occasion.

Booking tickets in advance is encouraged via the Manchester Museum website.

Featured Image – Wikipedia Commons