Manchester Museum 5

GALLERY | Manchester Museum extension secures £4.2m funding

Work on Manchester Museum’s proposed extension, designed by architect Purcell, will begin in the summer after the scheme secured a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £4.2m.

Plans were submitted for the project in January this year, with a professional team including Purcell, Max Fordham, and Buro Four.

The steel-framed extension will be built in the Museum’s existing courtyard facing Coupland Street, and will house a permanent 3,000 sq ft South Asia Gallery on the first floor, supported by the British Museum, which will outline the history and culture of the Indian subcontinent.

According to the museum, this will be the North’s first “large-scale” gallery covering South Asia.

It will also include a 5,400 sq ft special exhibitions gallery on the ground floor to house “world-class” touring exhibitions. The museum’s current temporary exhibition space is just under 2,000 sq ft leaving it “unable to take or develop any international touring shows,” according to Purcell.

Overall, the scheme is expected to cost £12.7m, with £5m already committed from the Treasury. Following the confirmation of the HLF grant, work is expected to start in August this year and complete in late 2020.

Esme Ward, director of Manchester Museum said: “With new world-class spaces for extraordinary objects and stories, more volunteering opportunities and imaginative partnerships, Manchester Museum will reflect and explore the needs, interests and opportunities of the diverse communities we serve.

“The project will develop and transform the museum to bring more wonder and inspiration from around the world to the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.”

Purcell’s proposals follow previous feasibility studies for an expansion of the museum, including by Ian Simpson Architects in 2009; Buttress in 2012; and ZMMA in November 2015.

The professional team also includes Appleyard & Trew and Burohappold Engineering.

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