The Science and Industry Museum announced today it will welcome visitors back from Friday 14 August, restoring the opportunity to explore 250 years of innovations and ideas that started life in Manchester and went on to change the world.
The much-loved attraction is the latest museum to announce its reopening plans in a boost to the recovery of Manchester’s cultural sector.
A safe and enjoyable experience is the museum’s top priority. Visitors are being asked to book free, timed tickets up to two weeks in advance, with the first tickets available from Friday 31 July. One-way routes will also be in place around the museum to ensure social distancing. For more information and to be one of the first to book, sign up to the mailing list by visiting www.scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk.
At first, the Science and Industry Museum will focus on bringing the galleries in its New Warehouse building back to life, together with half an acre of outdoor space in the atmospheric, cobbled Upper Yard. It’s here where visitors can soak up views across the internationally significant site and the city more widely.
Visitors can explore Manchester’s rich legacy of innovations, discoveries and ideas that changed the world in the Revolution Manchester gallery, and find out how the city’s heritage is interwoven with the cotton industry in the Textiles Gallery. Science will also be brought to life in front of visitors’ eyes in Experiment, and a deeper look at the solar system’s biggest wonder is on offer in The Sun, the blockbuster exhibition that was due to close at the end of March, but will now remain open for a few more months.
While revolution is core to the stories told at the museum, prior to its temporary closure, a revolution of its own was in progress in the form of a multi-million-pound restoration project. This work has now restarted, meaning that although some areas remain closed for now, a new £5 million Special Exhibition Gallery will open early next year to originate and host the world’s best science exhibitions. This will be followed by the reopening of the museum’s iconic Power Hall, which is currently being restored, and much more.
Sally MacDonald, Director at the Science and Industry Museum, said: “We can’t wait to welcome visitors back safely. Museums are great spaces to reflect during difficult times, so our role is more important than ever. We’ve been continuing to ignite curiosity with our online collection, science blogs on the pandemic and historical stories throughout lockdown. We’ve also been delivering science experiences to the nation through our partnership with BBC Bitesize Daily. However, there’s something really special about visiting a museum in person if you can and, in the Science and Industry Museum’s case, standing in a place that has shaped history and the modern world.
“Our story, and those we tell through our collection, are inextricably linked to Manchester’s past, present and future. We’re determined to play our part in supporting the city’s wider recovery and will continue working with our partners to ensure as many people as possible benefit from its varied and vibrant cultural and heritage offer.
“The Science and Industry Museum explores how ideas can change the world, with human ingenuity at the heart of the stories we tell. As we reflect on the changing times we live in, exploring the impact of people whose skills, ideas and dedication continue to shape science and technology has never been more relevant.“
The Science and Industry Museum opening times will remain 10.00-17.00, with initial opening days Wednesday–Sunday.
Enhanced cleaning regimes will be in operation, protective screens installed to all main reception points, ticket and information desks, and hand sanitiser stations located throughout the museum. Tickets will be scanned by contactless e-scanners and visitors will be asked to make contactless payments where possible. The museum Café (ground floor) and shop will be open.
Visitors will receive a pre-visit email including a video illustrating changes to their experience to ensure an enjoyable and safe day out, and detailed guidance can also be accessed on the website.
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.
The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, the world’s leading group of science museums. Locomotion in Shildon will be the first to welcome visitors back on 28 July, followed by the National Railway Museum in York on 4 August, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester on 14 August and both the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and the Science Museum in London on 19 August.
While the museum looks forward to 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.