Manchester museum to revamp thanks to Lottery


Manchester Jewish Museum has received a £426,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a major development project.

The funding will help the museum progress its plans to apply for a full grant of £2.8million at a later date that will result in a museum extension to house new galleries, learning and event spaces. The museum's historic Grade ll* synagogue building will also be fully restored.

Museum chief executive Max Dunbar said he was "delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. Over the past 30 years we've welcomed thousands of visitors, educating them about Jewish faith, heritage and culture. We can now build on this to create a new 21st century Jewish museum, showcasing more of our collections, educating more people and working with more communities to ensure Manchester's Jewish heritage is preserved for generations to come."

Before the museum can apply for the second round of Lottery funding it needs to have raised matched funding of £1 million by the end of 2016 and, according to Mr Dunbar, is "exploring fundraising projects and approaching trusts and foundations".

HLF's Sara Wilton said the museum "is uniquely placed to bring to life the story of one of our country's oldest communities for people from a huge range of backgrounds. We look forward to seeing the plans develop."

The museum plans to create a new visitor experience, exploring themes in its collection, such as immigration, integration and identity. New galleries will tell the story of Manchester's Jewish community, including a dedicated gallery about the many Holocaust survivors that settled in the city.

Manchester Jewish Museum is housed inside a former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue - the only UK museum inside a shul. Founded in 1873 by Jewish textile merchants, the Victorian gothic building is Moorish in style and has been described by English Heritage as "an architectural jewel".

The museum is located on the edge of Manchester city centre, in lower Cheetham Hill, in what is now the city's historic Jewish Quarter.

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