Science and Industry Museum restoration begins with work on historic Power Hall

This multi-sensory gallery...will show how Manchester provided the power that changed the city and the world
– Sally MacDonald

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".

The museum was forced to close the Power Hall in April this year due to urgent repairs that needed to be carried out on the roof. Following a grant of £6m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, it will not only be possible to completely replace the roof, but also to reinterpret the space "to show how steam power changed Manchester and the world" and to get the steam engines housed in the building – the largest such collection in Europe – back up and running.

Work restoring the machinery began earlier this summer, with each engine having been cleaned over the course of up to 180 hours and then covered with tarpaulins for protection from the subsequent work on the roof. With that stage complete, over 1,000 tons of materials, including 1,220m (4,000ft) of alloy roof beams, have begun being delivered to site and scaffolding has also started being erected.

The Power Hall was built in 1855 as the shipping shed for Liverpool Road Station, which was the world's first purpose-built passenger railway station. Speaking about what the restoration will mean for the building, Sally MacDonald, director of the Science and Industry Museum, said:

"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."

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 and see the creation of a new Special Exhibitions Gallery space, due to open in the last quarter of 2020. The Power Hall is scheduled to reopen in summer 2021.

Science and Industry Museum  Manchester  Power Hall  Sally MacDonald 
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19 Jul 2019

Science and Industry Museum repairs go ahead with government backing

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". The museum was forced to close the Power Hall in April this year due to urgent repairs that needed to be carried out on the roof. Following a grant of £6m
CLD,VAT,HAM,AAC,ARC
The Power Hall restoration is due to be complete by Q2 2021 / Science and Industry Museum
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