The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester has received a £3 million donation from The Law Family Charitable Foundation to fund the future of its Power Hall gallery.
The Grade II listed building, built in 1855 as the shipping shed for Liverpool Road Station, is the world’s first purpose-built passenger railway station. It now houses one of the UK’s largest collections of working steam engines, most of them built in Manchester.
Funding for its renovation has previously included £6 million from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with additional funding from the Science Museum Group, for urgent and major repairs to the roof and a re-display of the gallery content.
The new donation, the museum’s largest philanthropic gift to date, will support the gallery’s continued regeneration. It will be known as the Power Hall: The Law Family Gallery, when it reopens to the public in 2024.
The donation will also support an education programme centred around the stories and machines in the Power Hall, which aims to encourage more young people to pursue careers in STEM by highlighting the diverse people responsible for inventing, building and powering new technology.
Chair of the Science Museum Group, Dame Mary Archer, said the donation will allow the Museum “ro take a huge step forward in bridging the skills gap and making this a world-leading city for STEM excellence, where young people are inspired by the opportunities a future in STEM can offer.”
The Law Family Charitable Foundation was set up by CEO of Caxton Associates, Andrew Law and his wife Zoë, a portrait photographer, to provide long-term support for causes that are important to them.
Andrew Law said: “Zoë and I are delighted to support the regeneration project of the Power Hall. As well as being steeped in history – science and industry in the Greater Manchester region is again of central importance to both further education and help drive economic growth. With this iconic building we hope that many will be inspired to pursue STEM learning and careers.”