In 2014 the gallery underwent a radical £15m transformation, doubling in size – and while it was closed, ran a series of experimental pop-up events.

The Whitworth Institute and Park opened its doors in 1889 with support from 60 eminent Mancunians, including CP Scott, the editor of the Manchester Guardian. Part of the University of Manchester, it was founded in memory of the industrialist Sir Joseph Whitworth, for ‘the perpetual gratification of the people of Manchester’. Much has changed about the gallery in the past 126 years – including its name – but that objective has remained constant.

During 2014 the Whitworth underwent the largest physical transformation in its history. The £15m redevelopment project by McInnes Usher McKnight Architects doubled its size and created several new, dynamic spaces. While the gallery was closed throughout the year, its programme of events was very much open, with projects happening all over the city and beyond – including a pop-up gallery at Selfridges Manchester and art activities at pubs, residential care homes and a local branch of ASDA. Through this lively pre-opening programme, the gallery attracted new audiences while preparing for its grand reopening in early 2015.

The Whitworth has created new opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with art of the highest quality. The new building allows the gallery to undertake larger and more ambitious projects, realising its full potential as a major UK cultural destination.

Take a walk through the brand-new Whitworth – watch our film:

Download or stream our free audio guide to the Whitworth, provided by VocalEyes, a nationwide audio description charity that provides access to the arts for blind and partially sighted people.​