A new attraction in Manchester Town Hall will tell the story of the iconic building and showcase some of its civic treasures,
Exhibition designers Mather & Co have been appointed by Manchester City Council to oversee the creation of a new 328sqm ground floor exhibition space, accessed via the main Albert Square entrance.
The free attraction will welcome people into the Grade I-listed building when it reopens in 2024.
The Town Hall, which formally opened in 1877, has been closed since 2018 while the Our Town Hall project – one of the biggest heritage schemes the UK has ever seen – was carried out.
Deputy Council Leader and lead member of the Our Town Hall project, Councillor Luthfur Rahman said: “The Our Town Hall project is not just about protecting, preserving and carefully improving this Mancunian masterpiece. It’s also very much about making it more inviting and accessible for everyone.
“This new attraction will open up this beloved building as a destination – giving visitors the chance to explore its fascinating heritage, see more of its collections and learn the fascinating and sometimes surprising stories behind them. It will be a welcome addition to Manchester’s varied cultural scene.”
Town hall restoration
The building is being repaired and restored to safeguard it for future generations. At the same time it is also being sympathetically upgraded to modern safety and access standards.
Part of this huge project involves ensuring that the Town Hall’s story is told in an immersive and interactive way.
It will include tales of the people who have played a part in the history and the treasure trove of objects they have left behind.
There will also be a chance to explore some of the town hall’s hidden spaces on guided tours - such as the Victorian police cells, courtyard area and clock tower which have rarely if ever been open to the public
Sarah Clarke, Managing Director at Mather & Co said: “We want visitors of all ages to experience the story of the Town Hall using their senses, through discovery, experimentation, hidden reveals, exploration, and play.
“We don’t want this experience to be a museum, we want to create a memorable experience with personality.”