Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester)

Museum of Science and Industry

This structure marks the entrance to the museum and reflects its science/industrial themes
Location within Greater Manchester
Established 15 September 1983
Location Liverpool Road, Manchester
Coordinates 53°28′37″N 2°15′20″W / 53.47694°N 2.25556°W / 53.47694; -2.25556Coordinates: 53°28′37″N 2°15′20″W / 53.47694°N 2.25556°W / 53.47694; -2.25556
Type Science museum

830,000 (2011)[1]

Public transit access Metroshuttle Bus interchange – Green Route
Science Museum Group
Exterior of the museum's Air and Space Hall
A kamikaze Ohka aircraft in exhibition
The museum's Avro Shackleton

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI or formerly known as MOSI) in Manchester, England, is a large museum devoted to the development of science, technology and industry with emphasis on the city's achievements in these fields. The museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, having merged with the National Science Museum in 2012.[2]

There are extensive displays on the theme of transport (cars, aircraft, railway locomotives and rolling stock), power (water, electricity, steam and gas engines), Manchester's sewerage and sanitation, textiles, communications and computing.

The museum is an Anchor Point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage; and is situated on the site of the world's first railway station – Manchester Liverpool Road – which opened as part of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in September 1830. The railway station frontage and 1830 warehouse are both Grade I listed. The museum also offers steam train rides at weekends and on bank holidays.


The museum was originally called the North Western Museum of Science and Industry when it opened in 1969 in temporary premises on Grosvenor Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock. It had close ties with UMIST, having mostly grown out of the Department of History of Science & Technology.

In 1978, the Greater Manchester Council purchased the earliest part of the former Liverpool Road Station from British Rail, which had been closed in 1975. The council paid the nominal sum of £1 for the site. The museum opened at this site on 15 September 1983 and later expanded to include the whole of the former station.[3]

Since 2007 the museum has organised an annual science festival in Manchester.

In 2014, it was announced Sally MacDonald would become director of MOSI. MacDonald left her role as head of collections at University College London and succeeded Jean Franczyk as director.[4]


Exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry include:




Themed Galleries:

Currently open, but not actively maintained and due for decommissioning[5] are:

Past exhibits include:

The Railway

On selected dates, visitors may ride on demonstration passenger trains within the museum grounds. Trains are hauled by the museum's two operational steam locomotives:

The museum's railway line was formerly connected to the national rail network near Ordsall Lane Junction. However, construction of Network Rail's Ordsall Chord railway link, which began in January 2016, has since severed this connection and reduced the length of the museum's running line in spite of an attempted legal battle to save it.

Industrial machines

The last steam engine ever built to power a mill.
Spinning machine

The museum exhibits the large collection of stationary steam engines, hot air engines, diesel engines, hydraulic pumps, large electric generators and other similar machines. Most of these machines are operational and occasionally can be seen running. This exhibit includes the last stationary steam engine newly build to power a mill.

There is also the exhibit of spinning and weaving machines that cover all steps from wool to textile. These machines are also functional and run for a few minutes at scheduled times.

Adjacent St John's Quarter

Main article: St John's Quarter

The museum is adjacent to a £1 billion redevelopment area on the former site of Granada Studios. Work on the area, which will be known as St John's Quarter, is expected to be completed by 2022.[7] The Manchester International Festival's new Factory venue is set to open alongside the MSI at the end of 2019 as part of the redevelopment.[8]

The MSI intend to build a new £6 million Special Exhibition Gallery underneath the arches of the 1830 viaduct and in the 1830 Warehouse. Architectural firm Carmody Groarke won a competition to design the new gallery which is set to be complete by 2018.[9][10][11]

In July 2016 the council stated that, along with development partner Allied London, they had been in talks with the MSI "exploring how the presence of Factory opens up new possibilities for revitalising the whole area below Deansgate as a creative hub, with a joined up and extensive public realm. MSI's own developments plans are being aligned with this creative vision and the museum itself will become part of the creative public realm, with MSI's creative science offer balancing the creative and cultural production of Factory."[8]

See also


  1. "Support us – Museum of Science and Industry". Museum of Science and Industry. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  2. "Manchester's MOSI and London's Science Museum to merge". BBC News. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  3. "History of the Museum — MOSI". Museum of Science and Industry. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  4. Yakub, Qureshi. "Respected curator named as new boss of Museum of Science and Industry". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  5. "Conservator, Gallery Decant Project". Arts and Media Jobs. December 2015.
  6. MOSI. "BODY WORLDS 4: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies". Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
  7. ITV report (27 October 2014). "£1bn vision for former ITV site revealed". ITV News Granada Reports. Manchester. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  8. 1 2 Manchester City Council (July 2016). Executive meeting: 16. Updated Draft St Johns Strategic regeneration framework and Factory Manchester (Report). Manchester City Council. p. 11. Retrieved 23 July 2016. Pdf.
  9. "About Us: Transforming our Museum". Museum of Science and Industry. November 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2016. Pdf of Carmody Groarke's design.
  10. "Museum of Science and Industry". Carmody Groarke. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  11. Fulcher, Merlin (18 November 2015). "armody Groarke wins £4m MOSI gallery contest". Architects' Journal. Emap Ltd. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
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