Visitors eager to explore Manchester’s heritage of ideas that change the world were welcomed back to the Science and Industry Museum today (14 August) for the first time in almost five months.
Free tickets have been introduced to stagger entry times and allow social distancing, as well as a series of additional safety measure that ensure everyone has a safe, fun and enjoyable experience.
Tickets have proven popular, and with some days filling up fast, booking early is recommended. This can be done by visiting www.scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk/visit or by calling 0800 047 8124.
A safe and enjoyable experience is the museum’s top priority Visitors are being asked to observe social distancing, wear face coverings, follow one-way routes and book online in advance. In line with the additional measures currently in place across the city and other areas of the North West, visitors are also being asked to only attend with people from their household or support bubble. The most up-to-date information can be found on the museum’s website.
The much-loved attraction is the second Manchester city centre museum to reopen its doors, following the National Football Museum on 23 July, marking a further boost to the recovery of Manchester’s cultural sector. Imperial War Museum North at the Quays re-opened on 1 August and Manchester Art Gallery and People’s History Museum are due to re-open on 20 August and 1 September respectively.
Director of the Science and Industry Museum, Sally MacDonald, said: “After 21 weeks of closure during lockdown, we are extremely excited to have welcomed visitors back to the museum today.
“Visitors can be safe in the knowledge that enhanced measures are in place to protect their safety, feel free to explore our exhibits and galleries, and enjoy the wonderful stories told through our collection.
“The initial demand for tickets is a very positive indication for both the Science and Industry Museum and Manchester’s cultural sector more widely, demonstrating that there is a demand from audiences to return to much-loved museums like ours.”
The Science and Industry Museum’s opening times remain 10.00-17.00, with initial opening days Wednesday–Sunday. It has focused on bringing the galleries in its New Warehouse building back to life initially. This includes; the Revolution Manchester Gallery, where the city’s rich legacy of world-changing innovations, discoveries and ideas are on display; the Textiles Gallery, which tells the story of how cotton transformed the city into an industrial powerhouse; and the Experiment Gallery, a favourite among family visitors who can see science brought to life through a series of interactive exhibits.
Its blockbuster temporary exhibition, The Sun, will be also available to explore for free, and visitors can enjoy an acre of outdoor space in the atmospheric, cobbled Upper Yard, where they can soak up views across the internationally significant site and the city more widely. The shop and café will also be open, with every purchase supporting the museum and its vital work.
The Museum is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound renovation project. This will see a new £5million Special Exhibition Gallery open early next year to originate and host the world’s best science exhibitions. Its much-loved Power Hall is also being renovated, and improvement works are currently being made to the historic 1830s Station and Warehouse, the world’s first passenger railway station and the oldest existing railway goods warehouse respectively. These areas will remain closed until works are complete.
The Air and Space Hall, home to a collection of planes, cars and bikes, will also reopen later in the autumn.
A series of major special exhibitions and a climate themed Manchester Science Festival will return from February 2021, with booking information and dates to be announced this autumn.
While the museum is opening its doors to visitors once again, its collection—and the inspirational stories it contains—remain open online to inspire those who are unable to travel.