A spectacular new gallery space has officially been unveiled at Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry.
The lower ground floor of the Grade II-listed New Warehouse has undergone a stunning £5 million transformation as the venue prepares to host some of the “world’s best science exhibitions and experiences”.
Renovations were made possible thanks to a £3.8 million grant awarded to Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, alongside other funding from he Kirby Laing Foundation and The Zochonis Charitable Trust.
The new designs – created by architects Carmody Groarke and contractor HH Smith & Sons – have opened up this incredible part of the museum to the public for the first time.
The New Warehouse was originally built in 1882 to provide storage for the Great Western Railway; designed to support the weight of goods wagons entering the building and unloading cargo.
Today, it will function as a huge new northern arts space for the most innovative exhibits.
Museum director Sally MacDonald said: “We are dedicated to inspiring audiences with ideas that change the world. This year has brought home to all of us how fundamentally science shapes our lives. As we all rebuild personally, socially and culturally, and look forward to better things in 2021, we can’t wait to share this phenomenal new exhibition space.
“Our new Special Exhibitions Gallery will deliver a real step change in increasing access to incredible science exhibitions and collections. It is the first project in our long-term multi-million pound restoration programme to conserve our historic buildings, open up new spaces for all to enjoy, play and learn in and to generate vital skills opportunities to support our innovators of the future.”
In the special gallery, new walls will function as a blank canvas for exhibitions with an improved outdoor welcome area in the lower courtyard of the museum providing stunning vistas under the historic Viaduct (also known as the Pineapple Line).
There are also plans to link entrances between the Science and Industry Museum, The Factory and the developing St John’s and Castlefield neighbourhoods.
Museum reps have said the spacious gallery will enable the museum to display larger collection items and provide a better visitor experiences and facilities.
Culture Minister, Caroline Dinenage, said that the new gallery would “open up a wealth of opportunity for the Science and Industry Museum”.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council added that the impact in Manchester would be “immediate”.
“The incredible new experiences that this spectacular gallery will bring will be integral to the cultural and skills recovery of our city through science, arts, technology and innovation for everyone,” he stated.
The Museum of Science & Industry currently remains closed under national restrictions but is planning to reopen its doors in the coming weeks.
The inaugural exhibition hosted in the Science and Industry Museum’s new Special Exhibition Gallery will be Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security, curated by the Science Museum Group with the help of expert advisors, GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence and cyber agency.
Visitors will be able to uncover the remarkable world of codebreaking, ciphers and secret communications by exploring over a century’s worth of communications intelligence.
Discover more about the new gallery and sign up to the museum’s mailing list to be one of the first to explore it when the museum reopens here.