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hello future

The story so far...

Manchester Museum, part of The University of Manchester, first opened in 1890 and it is one of the largest university museums in the UK. The beautiful building, designed by renowned architect Alfred Waterhouse, is home to around 4.5 million objects.

We have reached a huge moment in Manchester Museum's rich history as we transform into a new museum that's fit for the 21st century.

hello future is the name given to this once-in-a-generation, £15 million transformation that's about much more than simply extending our building's footprint.

We're committed to building better understanding, compassion and empathy for each other and our world, and foregrounding inclusive narratives and new perspectives.

When we reopen we will showcase the best of our historic collections, as well as addressing the urgencies of the present day. Welcome to the new Manchester Museum.

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A museum for the 21st century

Built on strong values and a clear mission

Our mission is to build understanding between cultures and a more sustainable world. We are driven by our values to be inclusive, imaginative and caring.

  • A commitment to inclusion means greater collaboration and co-production, and foregrounding diverse perspectives, becoming more relevant to the communities we serve.

  • A commitment to imagination means engaging with innovative ideas and research, bringing people together to tell extraordinary stories and explore big questions.

  • A commitment to care means caring for people, their ideas and relationships, as well as objects, so that we can take action to build understanding, empathy and love for our world and each other.​​

Top image. Jallianwala Bagh 1919: Punjab under Siege, exhibition preview evening.

Bottom image. From We Are Nature, artistic responses to the beauty, complex and decline of wildlife

A place where everyone belongs

hello future is an opportunity for us to rethink how we care for our world and each other and this commitment extends to every corner of the building.

New inclusive facilities include a Changing Places toilet, picnic area, prayer space and quiet room.


The picnic area, open to everyone, will be beautifully decorated to complement the Museum Café and includes microwaves, work surfaces and a sink.


The prayer room will be available for those that need to use it for prayer, contemplation or meditation.

The quiet room will provide a calm and peaceful space for reflection, rest or other reasons.

Iftar at the Museum

We hosted our first annual Iftar in 2019 in collaboration with the University of Manchester Museum Muslim Chaplain.

All faiths were welcomed to observe or participate in the Muslim prayer and taste traditional food with the breaking of fast

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Building a more sustainable world

Greening the museum

Sustainability has always been a core part of Manchester Museum's work and we are proud to be the world's first Carbon Literate museum.

We're developing sustainable infrastructure such as an air quality monitoring and research station, in collaboration with Manchester Urban Observatory. We reuse and recycle materials, espeically in construction and exhibition projects. We work with local sustainable producers and suppliers across the museum, including in our shop and café, to reduce our environmental impact.


But sustainability is about more than bricks and mortar, bins and lightbulbs. Environmental action and social justice drive our work; from active conservation programmes locally and internationally to new education and research partnerships, programmes and exhibitions that inspire and support climate and ecological action.

The museum Vivarium  houses a collection of live amphibians and reptiles including many critically endangered species.

Ground Floor

Exhibition Hall

Our stunning new Exhibition Hall will bring people together to explore big ideas and showcase cutting-edge research in engaging ways.

Planned exhibitions include our very own internationally successful 'Golden Mummies of Egypt', which received rave reviews from its tour across China and USA, followed by 'Wild' , which will explore wildness, conservation and rewilding.

The opening exhibition will be Golden Mummies of Egypt, Manchester Museum's first international touring exhibition, featuring more than 100 objects from our Egyptology collections.

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Floor 1

Belonging Gallery

The Belonging Gallery will explore themes of belonging and inclusion through global comic art and collections. It will examine how humans, animals, and plants have lived harmoniously with each other and in different landscapes. And where they no longer do, the Belonging Gallery will offer illustrative examples and hopeful insights into how we might make new harmonies in the future.

Image. Moche Portrait Vessel

Lee Kai Hung
Chinese Culture Gallery

This multilingual gallery, supported by the Lee Kai Hung Foundation, will explore the rich cultural heritage of China and its historic and contemporary links with Manchester. It seeks to build empathy and understanding between Manchester and China and will draw on rarely and never-seen collections from cultural partners across the city to reveal powerful personal stories. Design team Imagemakers has transformed the look and feel of this gallery, including a space for gathering that will be a home away from home for Manchester's Chinese students and communities.

Image.  Concept design of the new Chinese Culture Gallery by Imagemakers Design & Consultancy Ltd.


The UK's first permanent South Asia Gallery dedicated to exploring the experiences, cultures and contributions of the South Asian diaspora will be a place for emotional connections and intercultural understanding. It will explore South Asia's incredible impact on life in the UK and present a dynamic, contemporary take on South Asian and British Asian culture.

This is a landmark partnership with The British Museum. It has been designed and built with a spirit of collaboration and co-production, with a unique Collective of community leaders, educators, artists, historians, journalists, scientists, musicians, students and others from the South Asian diaspora. Design collective Studio C102 and Mobile Studio have created this exceptional gallery, with an intimate and immersive performance space at its heart.

Image.  A member of the Collective

South Asia Gallery
A British Museum Partnership Gallery

The Top Floor

The Top Floor: where we do things differently

The Top Floor will be a space for people to come together to learn, share ideas, build community and make plans. You'll find education groups, charities, artists, writes, social enterprises, staff and students co-working and collaborating here, with a shared commitment to social and environmental justice. It will include a teaching studio, greenhouse, therapy room, pop-up exhibition and events space and co-working hub.

Image. The Museum Greenhouse

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Play Your Part

Work with us and support the museum

Your generosity and support means that we can continue to bring joy and inspiration to people in Manchester and beyond.


You can become a supporter of the museum with a one-off gift or a regular donation. This can make a real impact to our collections and displays, inspire cutting-edge new research, and enable us to play an even greater role in the lives of our communities.


Manchester Museum is a truly extraordinary place to hold a private event. Every event or purchase made supports the museum. And our mission. We will have new spaces alongside old favourites.

We will be back

A modern extension and galleries will provide new opportunities for curiosity and wonder and familiar galleries are still here waiting for you.





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