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New Warehouse

The next stage of improvement works has begun to conserve and improve our buildings across our historic site.

Whilst New Warehouse will be under scaffold until Summer 2025 we're remaining open and there's still lots to see, do and explore. This work is part of our £14.2 million of national capital funding by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to complete further urgent repairs and improvements until 2025. 

Essential repair work has begun on New Warehouse, which houses our main entrance, three of our permanent galleries (Revolution Manchester, the Textiles Gallery and Experiment), as well as two temporary exhibition spaces, including our spectacular Special Exhibitions Gallery. This work includes repairs to the New Warehouse's roof, gutters, windows and masonry and will help us to meet our sustainability goals with greater thermal efficiency and futureproofing against predicted increased rainfall due to climate change.

More about New Warehouse

New Warehouse, a Grade II listed building, was originally built in the 1880s to support the expansion of Liverpool Road Station, providing essential goods storage as the station grew into a hub of 19th century industry. Although this makes it over 140 years old, it is newer than some of the station's original buildings from 1830, and is referred to as 'New Warehouse' on many of the 19th century architectural plans.  

The building is now in need of essential repairs to ensure the museum can continue to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators by hosting and originating some of the world's best exhibitions and experiences in the North.

More about the repairs

There will be lots happening under the scaffold over the next 18 months, including:

  • Critical repairs to the roof to make it watertight. The roof is 100m x 40m, meaning it is the size of almost two Olympic-sized swimming pools, so it is a huge job to undertake.
  • A complete re-tile of the roof, using around 60,000 Welsh Slate Tiles from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales. A sustainable and popular choice for restoration projects, the new tiles will be nailed to match the historic way the tiles were previously arranged.  
  • Improving thermal efficiency and making New Warehouse more environmentally sustainable, including key restoration work to the masonry and windows and replacing single-glazed rooflights with heritage style double glazing. The museum will be adding additional roof insulation made from environmentally friendly and natural wood fibres, to support with better energy performance.  
  • If lined up end to end the gutters surrounding New Warehouse would be the same length as London's Tower Bridge. The current gutters need replacing with expanded versions to support with increased predicted rainfall due to climate change. The gutters will be expanded and reinforced with the best quality lead available, giving them a new life expectancy of 100 years. 
  • Manchester-based 3D Scaffolding are constructing a monumental scaffold. This will involve 65,500 linear metres of tubular materials, equivalent to over 41 miles, to support the temporary roof structure. Taking approximately 34 weeks to install, the scheme will involve over 40,480 man-hours to erect and subsequently dismantle.
  • Installation of safe roof access walkways and inspection facilities, crucial for long-term maintenance.

This latest stage of transformation will ensure New Warehouse is able to be enjoyed for years to come, hosting the very best science exhibitions and experiences, inspiring visitors and celebrating Manchester's industrial heritage on a site, which was at the very heart of it all.

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