The new 372m² gallery, slated to open in August 2022, will become the first permanent exhibition space dedicated to exploring the stories, experiences, cultures and contributions of South Asian diaspora communities in the UK.

Manchester Museum’s newest gallery will house a central performance space flanked by displays which include culturally significant items from its own collections and many others loaned from the British Museum.

“Studio C102 and Mobile Studio Architects have shown their commitment to being open, accessible and inclusive in their approach,” notes Esme Ward, director of Manchester Museum. “With their collaborative spirit and dedication to co-design, this gallery will be a brave and bold space; a place for emotional connections and new perspectives.”

The South Asia Gallery Collective, made up of diaspora community members, have been part of the design appointment process throughout and were keen to select Studio C102 and Mobile Studio Architects after having been impressed by a commitment to nurturing ideas, co-curation and a thoughtful approach to dealing with sensitive subjects.

The new gallery is an integral part of the £13.5 million ‘hello future’ project, conceived to transform Manchester Museum. This initiative will see a two-storey extension added to the site, housing a new Exhibition Hall along with the South Asia Gallery.

Elsewhere in the existing building the scheme will see the creation of a new Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery, commercial spaces and a new entrance.

The project is supported by funding from Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, The University of Manchester, and numerous philanthropic supporters.

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