Manchester Art Gallery

Platt Hall redevelopment: towards a community generated museum


This project is part of a new Vision for Manchester Art Gallery which promotes art as a tool for social change and campaigns for the right for all Manchester citizens to live creative and healthy lives.

Generations of Mancunians have been able to visit the gallery since its inception to see clothing ranging from 17th century dress, to modern day sports and workwear.

In order to safeguard this collection for future generations Platt Hall is now closed as work gets under way to carry out vital repairs on its roof, as well as improve its accessibility and ensure the gallery reflects the diverse and creative community it resides in.

The vision for Platt Hall is to turn the gallery into a place which inspires creative activity, not just serve as a visitor attraction. The renovation work when completed will present this historic house in a fresh new light, as new clean space filled with potential, ready to be turned into a transformative space, to be shaped and defined by the people who use it.

Platt Hall sits at the cross roads of the neighbourhoods of Rusholme, Fallowfield and Moss Side in South Manchester. We will work with these diverse communities to build a new kind of institution that will have a transformational impact on this locality, but also have significance for the wider city. This has the potential to show a clear way to expand the city’s cultural offer, in the city’s neighbourhoods as well as its centre, to be more inclusive and to addresses local needs and priorities and the ambition the City Council has for its residents.

Alistair Hudson, Director of Manchester Art Gallery

The Gallery of Costume was founded in 1947 when Manchester acquired the large private collection of costume which Drs Willet and Phillis Cunnington had amassed during the 1930s, and which concentrated on ordinary dress.

Since then it has significantly expanded with numerous acquisitions including a current Heritage Lottery Fund grant to collect couture fashion. The collection will be moved to Manchester Art Gallery where it will be the subject of a new public display in 2021.

We’ll be documenting both the repairs to and plans for the redevelopment of Platt Hall and share these here and on our social media channels.





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