Museum of Illusions , Museum of Illusions, c PNW

The building has been vacant since Sports Direct moved to the Arndale. Credit: PNW

‘Mind-bending’ museum coming to Manchester’s Market Street

Plans lodged with the city council show the Museum of Illusions wants to operate a venue out of the former Sports Direct store on the busy shopping street.

A fast-growing global brand, The Museum of Illusions first launched in Zagreb in 2015 and now has 40 sites in 25 countries around the world.

There are currently none in the UK, but the optical illusions museum has plans for sites in London, Birmingham, and Manchester, according to its website.

The Manchester venue would take over 10,700 sq ft of vacant retail on the first floor of the Tesco-owned 58-66 Market Street.

Sports Direct vacated the unit in 2023 and relocated to a larger site within the Arndale Centre.

The museum would feature “fascinating holograms, mind-bending illusion rooms, and astonishing exhibits intended to trick the mind and puzzle perceptions”, according to a design and access statement prepared by MHA Architects.

To learn more, search for application reference 139400/FO/2024 on Manchester City Council’s planning portal.

Your Comments

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Sounds really tacky.

By Anonymous

I haven’t payed enough attention to these buildings when passing.

Would like to see new schemes try and imitate the bricks and design of the buildings in the picture.

By MrP

Shame the word museum is lost in this context.

By Anonymous

Sounds fantastic. More of this please!

By Anonymous

Hmm , creative use if it’s done correctly.

By Anonymous

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