Manchester Museum is finally ready to reopen to the public after an ambitious £15m transformation project.
The cultural institution has expanded into a modern new two-storey extension, with new exhibition spaces and inclusive facilities added into the space.
Manchester Museum, which is part of the University of Manchester, will officially reopen this weekend after an 18-month refurbishment.
New spaces inside include a brand new Exhibition Hall, which will open with the blockbuster exhibition Golden Mummies of Egypt.
Visitors can get unparalleled access to more than 100 objects and eight mummies in a UK debut.
The new extension also includes the South Asia Gallery (a partnership with the British Museum), which will be the UK’s first permanent space to explore the lived experience of South Asian diaspora communities.
Purcell has designed the extension, cladding it in green-glazed terracotta tiles, paying homage to craftsmanship as well as Victorian and Edwardian period buildings in Manchester.
Manchester Museum first opened in 1890 and is one of the largest university museums in the country, housed inside a neo-Gothic building designed by Alfred Waterhouse.
Inside its doors, the popular attraction has more than 4.5 million objects from natural sciences and human cultures.
One of the most immediate differences that’s resulted from the £15m transformation is the new accessible entrance straight off Oxford Road, which brings visitors straight into a stunning new gift shop.
There’s a new dinosaur in town too, joining the museum’s legendary T-Rex Stan.
April the Tenontosaurus has taken up her place in the former entrance, beside the Fossils Gallery – she dates back to the Cretaceous period and was found in Montana, USA.
Other new features include a Changing Places toilet, prayer room, quiet room, picnic area and therapy room.
Esme Ward, Museum Director of Manchester Museum, says: “The reopening marks a huge moment in Manchester Museum’s rich history as we open our doors following a major transformation.
“We have extended the building, making room for more joy and learning and evolving into the Museum Manchester needs. Beautiful new galleries and exhibitions will showcase the best of the Museum’s historic collections, as well as addressing the urgencies of the present day and highlighting the complexities of our world.
“We have also listened to advocates with lived experience, and inclusive new spaces and features are incorporated throughout. We are delighted to welcome our visitors back.”
Eurovision 2023 grand final to be screened live in cinemas across the UK
The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest is to be screened live in cinemas across the UK for the first time ever.
With fans from across the globe set to descend on Liverpool in a couple of months time as the UK hosts the 2023 edition of the world’s biggest song competition on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, those who weren’t lucky enough to secure tickets will instead by able to head to their nearest cinema to experience the action on the big screen.
Distributor CinemaLive has announced it will be broadcasting the Eurovision grand final show live in cinemas nationwide for the first time ever.
It means that Eurovision fans up and down the country who missed out on grabbing tickets to the final – which sold out in under 40 minutes after going on sale earlier this month – will be able to come together to celebrate what is set to be the “biggest, brightest, boldest music party of the year”.
500 cinemas across the UK, including several here in Greater Manchester, will be screening the grand final on Saturday 13 May.
Vue, Odeon, Cineworld, and Everyman are just some of the cinema chains taking part.
Vue Manchester Printworks, Odeon Great Northern, and Everyman Manchester are the Manchester city centre venues lined-up to screen the event – with cinemas in the The Lowry Outlet Mall, Trafford Centre, Didsbury, Heaton Moor, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, and more also set to welcome Eurovision fans through their doors.
Event organisers say the screenings will encourage singalongs and fancy dress.
“We’re delighted to be working with the BBC to bring Eurovision’s grand final live into cinemas across the UK for the first time ever,” said John Travers from CinemaLive.
“We want audiences to enjoy themselves, so get your fancy dress on, and come together to enjoy this historic occasion on the big screen.”
You cind out more and grab tickets to watch the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest grand final screened live in a cinema near you here.
Featured Image – Eurovision
Art & Culture
Heritage railway arches in Manchester city centre to undergo £3.7m transformation by HOME arts centre
A section of the iconic railway arches along Whitworth Street is set to be refurbished into a brand-new development space for up-and-coming local artistsunder HOME.
Having existed as a recognisable part of the city’s rich transport and architectural heritage for as long as we can remember, three of the familiar archways situated on Whitworth Street West are now about to be given a new lease of life which will also help support Manchester’s beloved arts community.
Coming under the HOME theatre and arts umbrella with the work being carried out by the North West arm of Robertson Construction, the transformation is set to start fairly soon and is scheduled to be completed by May 2024.
Sitting between Whitworth Street West and HOME’s main arts building at Tony Wilson Place, which has been a popular cinema, gallery and restaurant since 2015, the new development centre will provide a space and vital resources for artists of all ages, disciplines and stages in their careers. Wonderful stuff.
Costing £3.7m, the goal of the ‘HOME Arches’ project is not only to give the Whitworth Street West Arches some much-needed TLC, but to help nurture, attract and retain creative talent in Manchester by providing them with a high-quality, low-cost rehearsal and training space.
Moreover, being connected to the ever-thriving First Street district will further strengthen it as a well-known and go-to city centre destination for artists and visitors alike.
Funding for the renovation was secured back in 2021 following a £2.3m government grant, with a further £0.9m contribution from Manchester City Council and around £0.5m from HOME themselves, who are helping cover some post-construction costs.
The Arches project is part of a wider £20m redevelopment plan under the national Levelling Up fund, with the bulk of the £17.5m scheme seeing the Upper Campfield and Lower Campfield Market buildings (both Grade II-listed structures) lovingly transformed into a new tech, media and creative industries hub.
Issuing a statement following the announcement, Director and CEO of HOME, Dave Moutrey said they are delighted to provide “meaningful, additional creative space for artists” and allow them to “grow the work that we do with artists in the North West, across theatre, film, visual art and digital works”.
As for the Council itself, leader Bev Craig said: “These arches are part of our heritage which have sat unloved and underused for many years. This scheme is bringing them back to life with a very modern purpose – complementing the thriving cultural economy in our city.
“Culture has a huge role to play in the success of our city and its people – creatively, for health and well-being and economically. This project will enhance this part of the city centre, create new jobs and further strengthen Manchester’s cultural ecosystem.”
We can’t wait to see how the new historic railway arches look under the loving stewardship of HOME and see the impact it makes on local creativity and culture.