Science and Industry Museum unveils new space - Museums Association

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Science and Industry Museum unveils new space

The £5m Special Exhibitions Gallery is complete
Capital projects
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Simon Stephens
Foyer of the new Special Exhibitions Gallery at the Science And Industry Museum
Foyer of the new Special Exhibitions Gallery at the Science And Industry Museum

The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester has completed work on its £5m Special Exhibitions Gallery.

The new space has been created in the New Warehouse, which was built in 1882 to provide storage for the Great Western Railway.  It was used by the museum to store collections and the redevelopment has given public access to this part of the site for the first time.

“Our new Special Exhibitions Gallery will deliver a real step-change in increasing access to incredible science exhibitions and collections,” said Science and Industry Museum director Sally MacDonald.

“It is the first project in our long-term multimillion-pound restoration programme to conserve our historic buildings, open up new spaces for all to enjoy, play and learn in and to generate vital skills opportunities to support our innovators of the future.”

The warehouse basement In 1987 (left) and the completed Special Exhibitions GalleryScience And Industry Museum

The museum remains temporarily closed due to Covid restrictions and will reopen its doors in the coming weeks. The inaugural exhibition hosted in the Special Exhibition Gallery will be Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security.


The gallery was funded by a £3.8m grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with further support coming from Wellcome, Garfield Weston Foundation, Kirby Laing Foundation and the Zochonis Charitable Trust.

The architect for the scheme was Carmody Groarke, while HH Smith & Sons was the main contractor. Carmody Groarke’s recent projects include the Windermere Jetty Museum in Cumbria.

The museum said sustainability was a key factor in the design of the Special Exhibitions Gallery in terms of reusing an existing building as well as the materials used and the energy efficient systems and lighting.

The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford.

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