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People’s History Museum reopening Tuesday 1 September 2020

29 June 2020

Left to right - Recently installed AR digital activity, People's History Museum exterior and 2020 Banner Exhibition

People’s History Museum (PHM) will be reopening its doors on Tuesday 1 September 2020, welcoming visitors to explore the fascinating stories and enjoy the unique experiences that it offers as the national museum of democracy.

Katy Ashton, Director of People’s History Museum, says, “We are really looking forward to welcoming people back to People’s History Museum.  Over the last few months our team has delivered a fantastic programme of content that has enabled people to connect with the experiences PHM offers online, but it will be lovely to once again see people exploring the museum galleries and collections.  We are also looking forward to playing our role in the reopening of Manchester as one of the leading cultural destinations in the country, a city that has always led with its thinking, campaigning, creativity and innovation.

“Whilst our doors have been closed we have been giving an incredible amount of focus to contemporary collecting.  Already a vital area of the museum’s work, the events of recent times have made it even more important for PHM to be able to reflect the change, challenges and protest movements taking place in the world around us.  We hope to be able to share some of the results of this in the weeks and months that follow our reopening.

“The wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors is always our top priority, which is why we are taking the time to carry out all of the measures necessary, so that we can reopen safely and responsibly in the interests of all.  Lots of planning is underway that will ensure an inspiring visit for all those who join us from 1 September.”

When People’s History Museum reopens this will include the two main galleries, the 2020 Banner Exhibition and a recently installed digital activity that reveals radical history makers.  PHM’s public programme of events will shine a light on migration, which is the headline theme for 2020-2021.  This includes the work with the Community Programme Team, six people whose own lives have been shaped by migration, which will continue to unfold following the museum’s reopening, with ideas and activities to inspire action.

PHM’s shop and The Left Bank cafe bar will be open, with space also available for those who want to bring their own food and drink.

In the weeks prior to PHM reopening, the museum team will be introducing the steps and measures needed so that visitors can enjoy the best possible experience of PHM’s stories, objects and archives that illuminate the world of the revolutionaries, reformers, workers, voters and citizens who championed, then and now, for change, rights and equality.  With the original Edwardian Grade II Pump House and the state of the art modern multi-storey extension making up the site, PHM is designed to be a spacious and airy attraction, with lots of room for visitors to seek moments of reflection as they discover ideas worth fighting for.

Details of how to plan your visit will first be available via PHM’s e-newsletter, which you can sign up to here:  Those who are unable to visit the museum can continue to take part in Ideas Worth Exploring featuring events, activities and resources produced during lockdown to connect people and share hope, conversations and creativity:

The work and role of PHM has never felt more important and we have ambitious plans for how we engage people with the museum’s stories of ideas worth fighting for.  Details of how you can support the national museum of democracy are here:

People’s History Museum is located in Manchester’s Spinningfields, on the edge of the River Irwell.  To ensure you are receiving the latest updates you can sign up to PHM’s e-newsletter here:



For further information please contact Fido PR: / 0161 832 3588


A selection of images can be found here:


About People’s History Museum (PHM)

People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.  The museum provides opportunities for all people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.  PHM offers a powerful programme with annual themes; 2018 looked at representation and commemorated 100 years since the first women and all men won the right to vote in Britain, in 2019 the focus was on protest to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, the programme for 2020/1 is on the theme of migration and 2022 will explore disabled people’s rights and activism.  Previous winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

About Arts Council England (ACE)

PHM is an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).  The work of PHM is supported using public funding by ACE, the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives.  ACE support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.  Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.  In short, it makes life better.  Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from The National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.


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