Manchester Museum has been given an official reopening date following its huge £15m refurbishment program.
The refurb project, named ‘Hello Future‘ and funded by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The University of Manchester, and other private supporters, has seen the building gain a brand new two-storey extension, which will reportedly increase the footfall of the museum by 25%.
The existing gallery and exhibition spaces have undergone extensive refurbishment, which saw more than 18,000 items either moved or protected from the building work.
There will also be a new space called the Belonging Gallery, the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery, and a South Asia Gallery, which is in partnership with the British Museum.
New galleries will include a dazzling Exhibition Hall, which will host the internationally renowned Golden Mummies of Egypt.
The museum’s leisure facilities will also be getting an extensive makeover, including a ‘stylish’ new shop and cafe, toilets, prayer space, a quiet room, therapy space, and a picnic area.
Accessibility and circulation have been big parts of the refurb, with the museum gaining a new ramped entrance from Oxford Road, which will lead to a new Welcome Area.
It was initially hoped that the museum would be ready to reopen by the end of 2022 but, thanks to challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic, there has been a short delay.
And now, bosses have announced that the museum will instead be re-opening to the public in February 2023.
Manchester Museum’s director Esme Ward said on the reopening: “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.”
While Manchester Museum remains closed, it will be hosting a number of online and pop-up events, while its vast collections are available to explore on its website here: