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Science and Industry Museum Special Exhibitions Gallery update

The entrance to the Science and Industry Museum

For immediate release

Planning permission has been granted for the new Special Exhibitions Gallery at the Science and Industry Museum. 

The new gallery, which is being designed by award-winning architects Carmody Groarke, will be built in the Grade II listed New Warehouse, the museum's main building and arrival point. It will provide an international-standard space for temporary exhibitions to be shown in Manchester, while simultaneously showing off the beauty of the historic Warehouse basement and Colonnaded Viaduct.

It is part of a huge programme of work to conserve and improve the internationally important industrial heritage site which houses the museum. 

The Special Exhibitions Gallery will be built on the lower ground floor of the museum, in a space that is currently used to store collections objects. These will be rehoused in the Science Museum Group's state-of-the-art National Collections Centre facility in Wiltshire. 

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, said:

"The Special Exhibitions Gallery will be a spectacular space for us to be able to put on incredible and inspiring exhibitions. The warehouse space with its beautiful brickwork ceiling and historic importance is the ideal location for exhibitions that tell the story of the world’s first industrial city, and the ideas that were born here and which changed the world.

"Alongside the great changes to the St John's neighbourhood, and development of the Factory arts venue, we are in one of the most exciting parts of Manchester right now. This work will ensure the museum is a key cultural destination that the city can be proud of."

The Science and Industry Museum is on the site of the Liverpool Road Station terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world’s first purpose-built passenger railway. Among its globally important buildings are the world’s first passenger railway station and the oldest existing railway goods warehouse. In total there are two Grade I listed buildings and four Grade II listed buildings on the site. 

The new gallery is funded by DCMS, the Wellcome Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation. The new gallery is scheduled to open in October 2020.


For more information, contact Kat Harrison-Dibbits, Interim Head of PR, on 0161 606 0176 or email


The Science and Industry Museum tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global, industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world. From textiles to computers, the objects and documents on display tell stories of everyday life over the last 200 years, from light bulbs to locomotives.  The museum's mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the Industrial Revolution to today and beyond. 

The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.