A guest post from our Director, Katy Archer
I can’t quite believe that it’s now 4 years since the People’s History Museum reopened following our capital redevelopment – time really has flown by since 2010!
Having been out this week with the Manchester Museums Consortium Directors Group for a site visit to Home – the new space that will house both the Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre – I’ve been reflecting on all the developments that are taking place in the city – and on our own experiences since reopening 4 years ago.
Home is going to be the new space for both the Cornerhouse and Library Theatre Company
With the new purpose-built centre for international contemporary art, theatre, film and books opening in March 2015, it’s already looking very impressive from our site visit this
morning. Dave Moutrey, Chief Executive and Director, gave us a tour of the space which will include two theatre spaces and five cinemas, along with a brilliant gallery space for visual and digital arts. There will also be a restaurant and café offer in keeping with the excellent food and drink that you can currently get at the Cornerhouse.
Home is part of the First Street North development – and simultaneously there is a hotel, car park, restaurants and retail spaces being built to create a real destination in this part of the city.
The tour was great (if a bit cold and wet) and you could already visualize how amazing the finished spaces will be by early next year.
And Home is only one of a number of cultural capital projects underway in Manchester right now…
The new Central Library is opening next month and I can’t wait to see inside.
The Whitworth Art Gallery is undergoing a major transformation which is going to be stunning when that re-opens later this year.
And Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is also due to reopen this Autumn.
And there may be more… it’s definitely an amazing year for culture in Manchester with new buildings being built and some of our best cultural attractions being redeveloped. This can only be a good thing for us all – attracting media coverage and press to Manchester over the coming two years – providing an even bigger and better cultural offer for our existing and future visitors – attracting people to the City who may otherwise not visit and giving us another opportunity to shout about Manchester as a major cultural destination for our residents and tourists.
The People’s History Museum has benefitted from the investment made in Manchester and since 2010 when we reopened we have seen our visitor numbers increase from 25,000 to 100,000. Half of our visitors continue to be Greater Manchester residents and the other half come from further afield (national and international tourists) who are attracted to the city by the museum and the wider cultural offer. As the national museum of democracy and the home of ideas worth fighting for, we are the only museum dedicated to telling this story and our stories and collections are so relevant to the world in which all live in today. We have worked extremely hard over the past 4 years to increase our visitors and to secure the future of our museum – and we are really looking forward to working with new and old partners in the coming years, including Home, to bring more investment, more visitors and more profile to the city of Manchester while continuing to improve the lives of everyone who lives in Greater Manchester through the high quality services we all offer.
I’m looking forward to seeing all of our partner organisations open or re-open in 2014 and 2015!