MM Oxford Road Entrance
Renderings of what the finished Manchester Museum project will look like. Credit: via Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum to close for construction

Julia Hatmaker

A new entrance from Oxford Road awaits the University of Manchester institution in a Purcell-designed scheme.

The entrance is part of a larger £13.5m project, known as “hello future”. Included in the scheme is a two-storey extension, which was recently built by Kier Construction. That two-storey extension includes a 5,400 sq ft special exhibition hall and a 3,000 sq ft South Asia Gallery.

Manchester Museum South Asia Gallery, Purcell, P Manchester Museum

The South Asia Gallery was built by Kier Construction. Credit: Manchester Museum

The museum has not yet appointed a main contractor for the project’s next phase, which will include the reconfiguration and fit-out of existing spaces as well as the new entrance.

As part of hello future, the museum will create the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery and The Belonging Gallery, which will explore humanity’s relationship with its environment and each other.

Hello future also includes plans for new toilets, a multifaith room, a larger museum shop and a main hall events space. The museum’s cafe will also be refurbished as part of the scheme.

Originally, work on the museum was expected to finish in late 2020. The project was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and challenges that arose from working on a historic building, according to a Manchester Museum spokesperson.

Manchester Museum will close to the public on 29 August until late 2022 for the construction work. During its temporary closure, the museum said it would have a plethora of pop-up events and outreach programmes to help people connect with its collections.

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