An image of how the museum is expected to look after renovation work is completed
Construction work has started on a £7 million renovation project to create a gallery of iconic Manchester objects at the city’s Museum of Science and Industry in a bid to dramatically boost visitor numbers to the 130-year-old building.
The nine-month project will host key relics from Manchester’s technological and industrial past in a Revolution Manchester gallery. Director Steve Davies said the scheme would turn the Museum into "a truly world-class cultural attraction."
"MOSI is located on the site of the world's oldest surviving passenger railway station, dating back to 1830, and currently attracts more than 700,000 visitors per year," he said.
"Although the Main Building is a wonderful example of the city's industrial heritage, it was designed as a warehouse rather than a museum. As MOSI's reputation grows, we now need to make better use of the space we have available."
The Revolution MOSI scheme will also build a new main entrance, enhanced education and corporate facilities. It has been jointly paid for by the European Regional Development Fund, the North-West Development Agency, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and other funding bodies.
"The museum is already an excellent attraction but has huge promise to develop and to get more visitors through the doors," said Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism at the NWDA.
"This level of investment seizes on that potential and will provide the sort of high quality visitor experience which will help the museum reach the figure of a million visitors."
The renovation works, which have already started, are expected to be completed by the end of 2010.
"There's no doubt that these improvements to MOSI will further add to its appeal," added Councillor Val Stevens, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council.
"MOSI is already an outstanding museum but this funding should enable it to build on its achievements and take it's deserved place on the world stage."