The Manchester Jewish Museum has won its bid for a National Lottery grant. The money will go towards an ambitious £5m development project that will see the museum double in size, with new galleries, learning spaces, shop and café built in an extension alongside the existing historic building. The former Sephardi synagogue, a Grade II listed building, will be repaired and restored.
Nathan Lee, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Manchester Jewish Museum is an extraordinary piece of 19th-century architecture, as well as the city’s oldest synagogue. This is one of Manchester’s most important historic buildings and our investment of nearly £3m is set to bring it back to life for a new generation. Thanks to National Lottery players, visitors will get a greater understanding of why this Cheetham Hill site is so important as well as hearing moving and uplifting stories about one of the UK’s oldest communities.”
The building plans have been developed by a design team comprising: Citizens Design Bureau (Architects), Burro Happold (Structural & Services Engineers), Bristow Johnson (Quantity Surveyors) and All Things Studio (Exhibition Designers). Designed by Citizens Design Bureau, the museum extension has been inspired by the Moorish (Islamic) architecture of the museum’s Spanish and Portuguese synagogue. The decorative motifs inside the synagogue will be replicated on the façade of the new extension. Award-winning architect, Katy Marks said: “The combination of distinctly Islamic motifs in a Jewish building holds a poetic symbolism of the dialogue between these two cultures, which we intend to reflect within the new extension”.
The museum remains open until autumn 2018, when construction and restoration work is planned to start. During construction, the museum will relocate to Manchester Central Library with a ‘pop-up’ Jewish Museum. The museum will also deliver a varied programme of activities across Manchester.
While £4.4million has now been raised, the museum needs to raise a further £250,000 to meet its final target. Naming opportunities are now available. Find out how you can support the museum’s plans here: MJM Appeal Brochure.