Sad news for fans.
Following an incredibly tough year for the arts industry, Manchester’s Science & Industry Museum has announced the permanent closure of the beloved Air and Space Hall – citing issues with maintaining the historic building as the reason behind the decision to close its doors.
Originally opening back in 1983, the hall has long been a place for enthusiasts to visit some of the most fascinating inventions of our time – including an RAF Avro Shackleton which could be seen within the hall. Now, the hall is set to remain closed for extensive repair works, with the museum making the decision to relinquish the property to Manchester City Council.
The impressive Air and Space collection of bikes, planes and cars will now be displayed in new locations across the UK, as they will be returned from loan to their home organisations, including Avro Heritage Museum in nearby Woodford, Stockport and The Aeroplane Collection at nearby Ellesmere Port.
Director, Sally MacDonald, says: “The decision to vacate our lease has not been easy but it’s the right thing to do for our visitors, the building and the city.”
Adding: “As a charity we have invested significant resource to maintain and repair the Air and Space Hall since we have taken on its stewardship; however, historic buildings do have a complexity of issues that date back many decades. The repair and investment work required to bring this beautiful building back to life is substantial, the space presents real challenges in the sustainable display of historic objects and ultimately, it is the responsible thing to now pass the building back to Manchester City Council, ready for its next chapter. We take seriously our responsibility to look after our globally significant buildings, which include the world’s oldest surviving passenger station and railway warehouse, and we have to prioritise these buildings that we own.
“I would like to thank all of the visitors, volunteers and partners that have helped to make the Air and Space Hall such a special place for many. We will continue to tell stories and display iconic objects demonstrating the region’s transport innovation in our galleries, in our new talks and learning programmes and online.”