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Courtyard Project

Over the next four years, we will be on a journey towards creating the Courtyard extension and you can read all about it on our blog

Courtyard Project

We have received a confirmed grant of £4,215,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a major capital project. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project will develop and transform the museum by providing new exhibition space, the North’s first South Asian gallery and an extended and more ambitious programme of activities.

Through Manchester Museum hello future, we aim to become the UK’s most imaginative, inclusive and caring museum. As the UK’s leading university museum, the we are committed to becoming an ever more powerful source of inspiration for learning for more people. This transformation, driven by social purpose, will make the museum more relevant and welcoming to all ages and communities.
News of HLF support marks the second major commitment towards this £12.7 million scheme, following a Treasury announcement of £5million towards the South Asia Gallery in November 2015.
The transformation will include;

  • hello future Special Exhibitions we’ll become leaders in producing and hosting international-quality exhibitions
  • hello future South Asia Gallery the North of England’s first large-scale gallery of South Asian history and culture, created in partnership with the British Museum. At the heart of the gallery will be a unique performance space, dedicated to showing the very best live music, dance and performance from and inspired by South Asia.
  • hello future China Gallery showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Chinese community in Manchester
  • hello future Visitor Experience with a new Oxford Road-facing entrance, welcome area and shop. Throughout, particular emphasis will be placed on accessible design for older visitors and people with a disability
  • hello future Events A dynamic co-created participatory programme which will imaginatively address some of the key issues of our time; climate change, ageing, migration and belonging.

Work will begin in Autumn 2018 and we will be partially open throughout. We will be closing some of our galleries to make way for this transformation and our Living Cultures Gallery will be closed from 8 June 2018.

Esme Ward, Director of Manchester Museum said: “With new world-class spaces for extraordinary objects and stories, more volunteering opportunities and imaginative partnerships, Manchester Museum will reflect and explore the needs, interests and opportunities of the diverse communities we serve. The project will develop and transform the museum to bring more wonder and inspiration from around the world to the people of Greater Manchester and beyond."

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “As Mayor I’ve pledged to support our thriving cultural institutions across Greater Manchester. We must continue to invest in our cultural facilities, not only to attract new visitors from the UK and beyond, but for the benefit of people across our city-region. Manchester Museum holds a special place in my affection, having spent many a long Sunday there when my kids were young. I am thrilled to see them expanding and improving their facilities. Manchester Museum acts as a community hub and through this Heritage Lottery funding this inclusive museum is able to continue to provide opportunities for all communities across Greater Manchester.”

Follow our activity and progress on the Courtyard blog

Press enquiries contact alia.ullah@manchester.ac.uk