Marking its 50th anniversary, Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum is embarking on a two-year programme which includes major repairs to the roof of the Power Hall and a re-display of gallery content.

Work on the roof, which the organisation says is urgently needed, has been facilitated by a £6 million funding contribution from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, stated that the Power Hall is one of the attraction’s “most evocative and impressive galleries. The sound of the machines working, and the whistle and smell of the steam as it drives them, is a truly incredible experience and one that we know our visitors love.”

The overall project will take two years to complete, with the Power Hall slated to re-open in the summer of 2021. In the meantime, visitors will be able to watch restoration teams undertaking the extensive training necessary to return the steam-powered engines to their fully-operational best.

MacDonald added that the restoration programme will “allow us to not only carry out much-needed repairs, but also transform the Power Hall into a multi-sensory gallery showing how Manchester provided the power that changed the city and the world – from the way we work to the consumer society we live in.”

Further funding

Additional to the flagship work on the Power Hall, the funding from the Science Museum Group will enable repairs to be conducted on both the Grade I Listed Warehouse and Grade II Listed New Warehouse. The former is believed to be the world’s oldest surviving railway goods warehouse, while the New Warehouse is home to the museum’s Textiles Gallery, Revolution Manchester Gallery, Experiment family section and bistro.

Beyond the work to improve what is already on site, it has also now been confirmed that planning permission has been granted for a new Special Exhibition Gallery on the lower ground floor of the New Warehouse.

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