The contractor is set to start on the main package of works for the £12m extension being built at Manchester Museum on Oxford Road.
Enabling work on the extension, designed by architect Purcell, began in 2018 after the scheme secured a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £4.2m. The professional team includes Max Fordham, and Buro Four.
The steel-framed extension is being 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 touring exhibitions. The museum’s current temporary exhibition space is just under 2,000 sq ft which meant it struggled to host larger touring shows.
Overall, the scheme is expected to cost £12.7m, with £5m committed from the Treasury. Work is expected to complete in late 2020.
Purcell’s proposals follow earlier 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.