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Find out about our ongoing restoration project.

Special Exhibitions Gallery

Our spectacular new 725 square metre flexible gallery space is now open and originating and hosting some of the world's best science exhibitions and experiences in the North.

Designed by award-winning architectural practice Carmody Groarke, working alongside Manchester building contractor HH Smith & Sons, the transformation of the lower ground floor of the museum's Grade II listed New Warehouse combines grand industrial beauty with stunning modern and sustainable design. It opens-up public access as a gallery space to this part of our globally significant site for the first time.

The New Warehouse was built in 1882 from brick, cast and wrought iron and sandstone to provide storage for the Great Western Railway and designed to support the weight of goods wagons entering the building and unloading cargo (which would have been moved through to the lower ground floor through ceiling hatches still visible today). Used as museum stores until recently, the historic fabric of the lower ground floor has been revealed and restored, allowing visitors to experience the grandeur and scale of the original warehouse space while enjoying new exhibition experiences.

The Special Exhibitions Gallery was named Heritage Project of the Year by the Architect’s Journal Awards and one of the best new buildings in the North West in the RIBA North West Awards. The £5 million project was funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Wellcome and Garfield Weston Foundation, with further support from the Kirby Laing Foundation and The Zochonis Charitable Trust.

The Special Exhibitions Gallery was made possible with the support of

DCMS logo

Principal funder

Major funder

With support from

Kirby Laing Foundation
The Zochonis Charitable Trust