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Transforming our Museum

We’re changing. We’re creating something amazing. We want to share it with you.

Our corner of Manchester has been a hive of activity since the early 19th century, and has always been at the forefront of change in the city. The museum houses the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station and the world's first railway warehouse from 1830.

And now we're changing again. We're redeveloping our site to create a truly world class 21st century museum for Manchester.

Our plans are ambitious, and they mean big changes to the museum that many of you know and love.

What's happening now?

In the next few months, we’ll be preparing for the construction of our state-of-the-art Special Exhibition Gallery, due to open in 2018.

What's the Special Exhibition Gallery?

The Special Exhibition Gallery will be built underneath the arches of the 1830 viaduct and in the 1830 Warehouse. It will enable us bring internationally acclaimed exhibitions to the museum and to create our own, as well as providing a new creative space in the city.

It will cost £6m to build the new gallery, which has been generously supported by DCMS and the Wellcome Trust.

We've appointed acclaimed architects Carmody Groarke to work on the project, and you can find out more about the design here.

What will be changing?

In order to realise our ambitions, we’re closing some of our galleries permanently. Between  March and September 2016, we said a fond farewell to the Computing Gallery, Energy for the Future Gallery, Electricity Gallery, the Gas Gallery, Underground Manchester, the Making of Manchester Gallery and the 4D Theatre.

This happened on the following days:

  • 1 March - Computing and Energy for the Future Galleries
  • 28 March – Gas Gallery and Underground Manchester
  • 3 May – Making of Manchester Gallery
  • 4 September – 4D Theatre

The collections in these galleries will be stored, re-displayed elsewhere in the Museum or loaned to other museums and galleries. Moving these objects for the first time in decades also gives us the opportunity to document, research and care for them.

We know that some of you will be disappointed to wave goodbye to old favourites like Underground Manchester. But we will be creating some new and immersive experiences in future gallery developments over the coming years. In the meantime, there are still plenty of great things to do on site, including great events and exhibitions, and the daily demonstrations of working machinery that bring our collections to life.

Where can I find out more?

We’ll be talking a lot over the next few years about the transformation of our museum, so keep checking this page for regular updates. Meanwhile, if you have any queries please email us or phone 0161 832 2244.

We hope that you’re as excited about this as we are, and we can’t wait to share the journey with you.