Platt Hall Inbetween is a project to redevelop Platt Hall, the Grade II*-listed building in the corner of Platt Fields Park at the junction of Platt Lane and Wilmslow Road. The Hall is probably best remembered as the Gallery of Costume, home to Manchester Art Gallery’s outstanding collection of fashion, dress and textiles. It was a sad day in 2017 when the Gallery of Costume closed its doors for the last time, due to a combination of successive budget cuts, urgently needed building repairs and a moth infestation. However, since then, a project has begun, to transform this historic local landmark and bring it back into use.
Platt Hall Inbetween brings together residents, communities and partners with a team from Manchester Art Gallery, to re-think the use of this beautiful historic building for the benefit of the local neighbourhood. The building has been repaired and the dress collection is now being prepared for eventual relocation to a new site. Meanwhile, we’re working collectively to develop a programme of activity in and around the Hall that will help shape it’s future as a creative resource for the people of Moss Side, Fallowfield and Rusholme.
We’ve started a volunteer gardening project, a Surestart playgroup, and regular social ‘collection chat’ events. We’ve held two Open Days and developed ‘Museum on My Street’, a mobile museum-on-a-bike that popped up on Holford Avenue and Brunt Street on Saturdays over the summer. We’re working with the local Robert Darbishire GP Practice to develop creative programmes for health and wellbeing. And we’re hoping to expand the programme early next year with art and craft activities drawing on local skills and talents.
It’s a slow process bringing this building back into full use and will take time and funding. But through working together, we’re beginning to see a future for Platt Hall as a new kind of space – part museum, part making space, part conversation space – that celebrates and supports the wealth of community spirit in this part of the city.