Manchester Jewish Museum is today celebrating a £46,119 funding boost from SUEZ Communities Trust for Preserving the Stained-Glass of the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue.
With the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Manchester Jewish Museum has started a £6 million capital project. A major extension will be built to accommodate a new gallery, learning and community studio, café, shop and visitor facilities. Alongside the new build the synagogue will be restored. This funding from SUEZ Communities Trust will allow for repairs to the Synagogue’s stained-glass windows to conservation standards.
Max Dunbar, CEO of Manchester Jewish Museum, said: “It is so important to us to keep as many of the building’s original features intact and so this money will further enable this to happen. The stained glass has been in place since the 1870s and is a stunning feature of the original synagogue we dearly want to preserve for visitors to enjoy for years to come.”
The funding comes after builders renovating the museum discovered a time capsule hidden within a cavity wall next to the museum’s ark. Complete with its wax seal intact, the glass jar time capsule buried almost 150 years ago was filled with synagogue papers, newspapers and old coins.
“We are thrilled and overwhelmed by its discovery and look forward to displaying it in the new museum next spring,” said Dunbar. It is hoped the redeveloped museum will increase annual visitor numbers from 10,000 to 40,000 when it reopens its doors in 2021.