Manchester Art Gallery

Platt Hall Inbetween and funding change

Platt Hall is undergoing a period of change. Thanks to the support of funders and donors, large and small, we are now about to move to the next stage of development. 

Located at the crossroad of the South Manchester neighbourhoods of Rusholme, Fallowfield and Moss Side, Platt Hall was the Gallery of Costume until 2017. In 2019, we received seed funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and Paul Hamlyn Foundation to explore a new future for Platt Hall, through a transitional project: Platt Hall Inbetween. Platt will become a new kind of museum created with and for its hyper-local community. 

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted activities (to say the least), but it did provide the opportunity to refocus how we work. A new partnership with local GP surgery, Robert Darbishire Practice, has begun, providing socially prescribed creative activities to support people struggling in lockdown. 

As we began to reopen after the pandemic, we developed a new garden inspired by the collection with a group of local volunteers, and with partners Fields of Platt Fields Park and MUD, as a COVID-safe environment to start to bring people back to the Hall again. Beds have been dug, planters built,?and overgrown hedges brought back under control with the help of much tea, coffee and conversation. In 2022, the garden will be expanding and moving to its next stage thanks to the support of the Finnis Scott Foundation.  

2021 has been a transformative year for Platt Hall. Over the summer and autumn, Platt Hall held two open days to re-engage with the local community. Over 400 people attended, many of them newcomers to the Hall from the immediate neighbourhood. We were also pleased to invite the Friends of Manchester Art Gallery to visit Platt Hall and see how the garden had been developed. The support of the Friends of Manchester Art Gallery helps Platt Hall too, so it was wonderful to show supporters the good that their donations do.  

Later, the team got out and about locally, taking a cargo bike packed with curious objects that forms a pop-up mobile museum – thanks to a donation from the Skelton Charity. The team asked local residents to bring objects out from their homes that they thought belonged in a museum. People brought out things as varied as wedding jewellery, a giant water pistol and a leopardprint dustpan and brush! The team took photographs of these prized possessions, which were later featured in an exhibition in the grand windows at the front of Platt Hall. In 2022, local people will have the chance to explore a diverse range of objects from the Hall’s collection, thanks to the support of The Granada Foundation.  

2022 is going to be an exciting year for Platt Hall. We have made significant progress in the last year, but there is still a long way to go to bring Platt Hall fully into its potential. The support of donors, large and small, will be integral to the project’s success.

Find out how you can support us here 

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