Attractions industry news

02 Oct 2019

Science and Industry Museum restoration begins with work on Power Hall

Work has commenced on the restoration of the Grade II-listed Power Hall at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester – part of a larger, multi-million-pound project to create a more sustainable museum and a "beacon for contemporary science".

In July, the museum was given funding from the UK Government and its parent, the Science Museum Group to repair the roof of the Power Hall and transform the displays inside.

Built in 1855 as the shipping shed for Liverpool Road Station, which was the world's first purpose-built passenger railway station, the Power Hall houses Europe's largest collection of working steam engines.

The site is now taking delivery of more than 1,000 tons of materials ahead of scaffolding starting to rise across the structure. The museum said this weight of materials was equivalent to 500 elephants or, perhaps more appropriately, 275 Stephenson's Rockets. The work is due to be completed by Q3 2021.

"This multi-sensory gallery, full of the sounds of machines, the whistle and smell of steam and incredible personal stories, will show how Manchester provided the power that changed the city and the world – from the way we work to the consumer society we live in," said Sally MacDonald, director of the Science and Industry Museum.

"In revealing more about the human skill and ingenuity of the past, we can't wait to inspire the engineers and innovators of the future."

While work begins on the Power Hall roof, the rest of the museum remains open, and has an ongoing programme of special exhibitions, experiences and events.

The wider project at the museum will allow vital restoration and conservation work across the seven-acre site. It will deliver a new Special Exhibitions Gallery space, to open in the last quarter of 2020, which would be able to host some of the world's best science exhibitions.

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