Work to replace the Grade II listed New Warehouse roof at the Science and Industry Museum has gotten underway.

In what is one of the most significant restoration projects currently in progress in the UK, the 140-year-old roof structure measures the size of two Olympic swimming pools.

This is the latest stage of a multi-million-pound restoration programme taking place across the Science and Industry Museum’s globally significant site.

The New Warehouse was originally built in the 1880s to support the expansion of Liverpool Road Station, providing essential goods storage as the station grew into a vital hub of 19th-century industry.

It now houses the main museum entrance, three permanent galleries (Revolution ManchesterTextiles Gallery and Experiment), three changing exhibition spaces, a café, shop and conference space, spread across three floors.

The building’s roof is now in need of essential repairs to ensure the museum can continue its mission of inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators by hosting and originating some of the world’s best exhibitions and experiences in the North. 

Remaining open throughout, visitors will be able to see engineering in action as scaffolding is erected around the New Warehouse this winter as part of the museum’s current £14.2 million worth of national capital funding by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to complete urgent repairs.

As always, over the course of the repair process, there will still be a packed programme of events, special exhibitions and new displays to enjoy alongside the museum’s permanent galleries. Current exhibitions include world-premiere experience, Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You, Power Up, and Stephen Hawking at Work. 

Lower Byrom street warehouse, Liverpool road station, Manchester 1983

Partnering with Manchester-based architects Buttress, who specialise in restoring listed and historic buildings, the vital work will include a complete re-tiling of the roof, requiring around 60,000 Welsh Slate Tiles from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, to match the original slates.

Critical repairs to ensure the roof is watertight will also be carried out, and improvements to its thermal efficiency will boost the building’s environmental sustainability.

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum says: “We are delighted that the next stage of the site’s multi-million-pound restoration project is underway. This marks an exciting moment as we carry out vital repairs to our main museum building, including a brand-new roof.

“Whilst this repair work will bring some disruption to our site, including our largest scaffolding structure to date, the changes taking place now will mean visitors can enjoy our museum for years to come. We’ve always been a place of change and transformation and the work on New Warehouse is our next step to future-proof our historic site.”

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Science and Industry Museum,
Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Mon 5 Feb 2024