The Chancellor, George Osborne MP, has announced a £3million investment to help create a stunning new temporary exhibition space at the Museum of Science & Industry. Speaking at the official launch of European City of Science 2016 at the Museum, attended by the city’s leading science and business figures, the Chancellor set out further Government plans to prioritise science investment in the North West.

This significant investment allows the Museum to take forward ambitious plans to convert the vaulted basement of its 1830 Warehouse – the first ever railway warehouse – into a venue for world-class exhibitions that will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Director Sally MacDonald said: “This new exhibition space will allow us to deliver innovative exhibitions that will further enhance the city’s reputation for cutting-edge science. The Government’s invaluable financial support means we can do more to feed the enormous passion for science in the North West, serving our annual audience of more than 700,000 visitors and motivating more people to explore both the science and extraordinary heritage on offer at our Museum.

“In future, with the support of our partners, we want to develop ground-breaking exhibitions that can tour internationally, shining a global spotlight on our collections and our great city of Manchester.”

The Chancellor has also recently announced plans for a major new research centre in Manchester. The Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials Research and Innovation will be based at the University of Manchester. It will build on two centuries of innovation in developing materials that has underpinned Manchester’s rise as one of the first globalised industrial cities. These inventions, celebrated in the Museum’s collection, range from Richard Arkwright’s spinning frame (1775) to the creation of Terylene, the world’s first wholly synthetic fibre (1941), and the isolation of graphene just a decade ago.

The £3 million Government investment in the Museum is in addition to an £800,000 grant that funded preparatory work, including the selection of the best location for the new exhibition space from across the its historic 7.5 acre site. It was at the Museum in June that George Osborne announced his intention to create a “Northern supercity” to rival London as a global hub by building HS3, a high speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds.

The Museum’s major partnerships include the largest STEMNET contract outside of London and relationships with the Wellcome Trust and the University of Manchester with whom MOSI is working on a new exhibition on Graphene, Manchester’s latest global scientific export. This exhibition will open at the Museum in June 2016.