Manchester Jewish Museum

Funding for Manchester Jewish Museum but Ancoats Dispensary loses out

An extension to help the Manchester Jewish Museum double in size could start in autumn 2018 after the project secured a £2.9m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, but a funding bid to restore Ancoats Dispensary has been rejected.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has backed the Manchester Jewish Museum’s 4,900 sq ft extension of its existing facility on Cheetham Hill Road, which will house a new foyer, café, retail space, visitor facilities and an 1,800 sq ft gallery.

The fund will provide £2.9m towards the extension, which is expected to cost £4.5m in total.

It has been designed by a team including Citizens Design Bureau as architect, Buro Happold as structural engineer, Bristow Johnson as quantity surveyor, and All Things Studio as exhibition designer.

A planning application was submitted in June this year. The Lottery Fund also provided nearly £430,000 towards the design and planning process.

The extension, which still needs to raise a further £250,000 to go ahead, has been backed by The Association of Jewish Refugees, The Granada Foundation, and The Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust, among others.

The current museum, opened in 1983, is housed inside the city’s oldest synagogue, which will also be restored as part of the project. It will remain open until autumn 2018, at which point it will close to allow construction of the extension to begin. Restoration works will include repointing brickwork and repairing the building’s slate roof.

Construction is due to complete in 2020, with the museum reopening in summer of that year.

During construction works, the museum will open a pop-up facility at the Manchester Central Library.

The Museum’s chair of trustees, Andrew Singer, said: “This is a huge step forward for the museum and the communities whose stories it tells. We should all be very proud of this achievement and we are all very excited for the future.”

However, a bid to restore the Ancoats Dispensary trust with Lottery funding has been rejected.

Ancoats Dispensary Trust and development partner Igloo Regeneration had bid for a £4.5m grant to help restore the derelict building near Manchester city centre, which was saved from demolition in 2013.

The project had previously been supported by the HLF with a £770,000 initial development grant for stabilisation works and the creation of detailed plans for the restoration, but the Dispensary has failed to secure stage two funding from the HLF.

Trevor MacFarlane, chair of Ancoats Dispensary Trust and Ancoats Dispensary Limited, said: “The decision is obviously a big blow for the Trust, igloo and everyone who has supported this wonderful project over the last 5 years.

The Trust are not giving up however and we will regroup and look at as many alternate ways of saving the building as possible. The Dispensary is a unique Heritage asset in Manchester and it would be a tragedy if it went the way of so many of Manchester’s heritage buildings before it.

“We will do everything in our power to make sure the Dispensary has a future at the heart of Ancoats.

“To that end we invite anyone who has an interest in helping to save the Dispensary to get in touch with us”.

The Trust added it had made “approaches to high net worth individuals who could champion the project”, and that it also had applications with potential funders that had yet to be decided.

Plans for the renovated Dispensary included a community café, event space and meeting rooms on the ground floor, and two floors of office space for occupiers who work in health and wellbeing sectors.

Purcell acted as architect on the scheme.

Dispensary Drawing

The Dispensary was saved from demolition in 2013

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Gutted for the Dispensary, this is such an important building. Must say though I was unaware there was an on-going fund raising campaign and I take an interest in these sorts of things. Really hope they pull it off.

By Money talks

Its a shame for the dispensary. And it looks like the Jewish museum had already done quite well.

By A Nan

The Dispensary is another Fire station in the making.A derelict treasure sitting there empty for decades.

By Elephant

The Dispensary isn’t a particularly great building, there are many better in every town across the country. It certainly doesn’t cmpare to LRFS, that needed saving for sure.

By Al

AI – you’re evaluating the building only skin deep. The Dispensary may not be listed but it’s certainly distinctive but much more important than that is its historical importance (you can read up on this) and its social and communal value. It’s been an incredibly important resource for the community in Ancoats, improving health and wellbeing long before the NHS existed in what was traditionally a heavily industrialised and impoverished community.

It’s therefore a very potent Anocats landmark, the last remnant in that area from that era (since the recent destruction of the Hetherington dining rooms) and a building that means a lot that a great many local people. No wonder it was immortalised in a Lowry painting. Finally, the proposed use of the Dispensary maintains this community ethos, enlivens an otherwise dead and characterless Old Mill Street and gives the local community a real stake in gentrified New Islington.

All these reasons make the Dispensary an incredibly valuable building making its retention and reuse a no brainer.

By Money talks

The issue is that the pot for the very large grants is limited and national, so only a handful of projects every get the very large grants. If projects only need around £250k it is much easier to get that funding. I hope the Dispensary go in for the large grant again next time and is successful.

By Bradford

Bradford is correct. HLF now only has a total pot of c£60m each year for major projects like the Dispensary, total value of applications are normally 4-5 times that amount. Big Lottery is even more stretched – gets applications per month which equal total annual funding (c£60m) :|

By MancLad

Subscribe to our newsletter