Manchester Jewish Museum is set to double in size after a lottery grant worth almost £3 million was confirmed late last week.
The money will go towards repairing the 1874 building in Cheetham Hill, the city’s oldest shul, with plans for the creation of new galleries and classrooms as well as a shop and café.
The Grade II-listed building, which houses 30,000 objects, was built by Jewish textile merchants and has been described as an “architectural jewel” but is in need of restoration, which has already been approved by Manchester City Council.
Work will begin next year and be completed by 2020, and the museum’s chief executive Max Dunbar said the dramatic redevelopment, including soundscapes and interactive displays, will bring a new lease of life to the institution.
“The historic stories of Manchester’s Jewish community are also the stories of today,” he said. “They tell of people forced to flee their homes, who settled in a new country to rebuild their lives.
“These stories remind us what happens when people, politics and religion drive us apart – and how a city like Manchester can bring people together… We can now build a better museum and share those stories to more people than ever before.”