A series of Town Hall tours has been extended, to give more people of all ages the chance to look behind the scenes at Manchester’s civic centrepiece this summer.
The tours, led by Manchester Guided Tours and New Manchester Walks, offer Manchester people the chance to visit parts of the Town Hall which are not normally accessible to the public, find out more about the building’s history and see for themselves why a major project is needed to protect it for future generations.
The new dates are:
Sunday 7 May
Sunday 21 May
Sunday 4 June
Sunday 11 June
Sunday 2 July
Visitors will experience highlights including the Courtyard – which, with its 19th century cobbles and leaded windows, is a favourite location for film-makers - a display cabinet containing the silver dinner set used at the Town Hall’s official opening, plus usually unseen areas like the ‘Porter’s Cubby Hole’. And if you're lucky, you might even hear the resounding tones of the grand Cavaille-Coll organ being played in the Great Hall.
The 75-minute tours are being presented as Manchester City Council continues to make progress with the Our Town Hall project, which will result in the refurbishment of the Grade-I listed building.
The Town Hall, widely revered as one of the UK’s most important examples of Victorian architecture, is now nearly 140 years old and although it is structurally sound, major work is required to bring it up to modern access and safety standards, while ensuring that its many heritage features are preserved.
Councillor Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The initial run of Town Hall behind-the-scenes tours was incredibly popular, so we’re very pleased to add a series of extra dates, to meet the significant public demand.
“Increasing public access to our Town Hall is one of the goals of the refurbishment project and this is just one of the ways in which we can engage residents with the architecture, contents and history of this magnificent building. Looking behind the scenes will also help people to understand the nature and scope of the work required to safeguard this symbol of Manchester for future generations.”
Tickets have been subsidised by the council and cost £2.50 per person, plus a booking fee (75p).