People’s History Museum (PHM) is looking forward to welcoming visitors to the national museum of democracy when it reopens its doors on Tuesday 1 September 2020.

The buildings and spaces that make up People’s History Museum will be open from this date, including the original Edwardian Grade II listed Pump House and the state of the art modern multi-storey extension, enabling people to fully enjoy exploring the stories of ideas worth fighting for that are brought to life at the museum.  Opening hours will be Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00am until 5.00pm.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, PHM have introduced an online registration system (available from Tuesday 18 August 2020 via PHM’s website) for visitors to select a date and time up to two weeks in advance to visit the museum.  You can keep up with the latest PHM news by signing up to receive the museum’s e-newsletter.

Waiting to be explored are PHM’s two Family Friendly permanent galleries, where you’ll meet the radicals and changemakers of the last 200 years; the Peterloo Massacre, votes for women, the Match Girls’ Strike and workers’ rights are just some of the ground-breaking stories told.  The 2020 Banner Exhibition, journeying through this year’s headline theme of migration, is also part of the reopening experience for visitors along with two recently installed digital activities.

PHM’s shop will be open and there will be space for those who want to bring their own food and drink and eat in the stunning Edwardian Engine Hall. 

Katy Ashton, Director of People’s History Museum, says, “Our building shares the stories of people who have achieved amazing things and we are really looking forward to sharing this inspiration with people again.  We’ve missed our visitors and can assure everyone that there will be a warm welcome and a unique PHM experience that the team will make enjoyable and rewarding in lots of different ways.

“For those that are unable to join us just yet, we’ll continue to share our online programme of creative events and activities through Ideas Worth Exploring, which has been incredibly popular with audiences during lockdown. We really appreciate people’s support at this time and look forward to welcoming everyone back to the museum or continuing to connect and have conversations online.”

People’s History Museum has received VisitEngland’s accreditation, We’re Good To Go, which means that it has followed all of the government and industry Covid-19 guidelines and implemented the recommended measures.  Visitors will find changes in place that will all help to make their time spent at the museum feel safe and relaxed.  These will include:

  • Register to visit
  • Wear a face covering
  • Hand sanitiser stations
  • Clear route to follow
  • Card & contactless payments
  • Enhanced cleaning

A film on PHM’s website will also share more details of what people can expect as part of their visit to PHM.

People’s History Museum has been working in partnership with museums and cultural organisations across Manchester to ensure that the city continues to inspire the world with the stories they tell and to play their role in supporting Greater Manchester’s wider recovery.

Like all cultural organisations People’s History Museum has faced its own financial pressures, and for the national museum of democracy this has come at a time when it believes it needs to significantly increase the contemporary collecting work that it does.  As well as its programme themes of migration, disabled people’s rights and environmental activism, the team is focused on responding to key events including Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement.  Find out more about the museum’s contemporary collecting work and how to support it here:

PHM’s Ideas Worth Exploring programme of online events, activities and resources produced during lockdown to connect people and share hope, conversations and creativity is available.  Radical Lates, which take place on the second Thursday each month, will continue to take place digitally for the next few months, with the next on Thursday 10 September 2020.

People’s History Museum is located in Manchester city centre’s Spinningfields area, on the edge of the River Irwell.  From Tuesday 1 September 2020 it will be open six days a week (Tuesday to Sunday), from 10.00am to 5.00pm.  Visitors are encouraged to register for a timed entry slot in advance via PHM’s website, with free entry and a suggested donation of £5.  PHM will ensure capacity is reserved for those unable to book online.

PHM’s Venue Hire service is resuming too, with Covid-19 safety measures introduced and bookings for events and wedding and civil partnership ceremonies for up to 30 people now being taken. Email to enquire about our spaces and availability.

Also reopening is PHM’s Labour History Archive & Study Centre, with shorter days and hours than usual.  From Tuesday 1 September, these will be Tuesday to Thursday 10.30am to 3.30pm, with no lunchtime closure.  Appointments must be made in advance via, with a minimum of seven working days’ notice required. 

To find out about visiting the museum, its full exhibitions and events programme visit  To ensure you are receiving the latest updates you can sign up to receive PHM’s e-newsletter via


People's History Museum
People's History Museum Building

People’s History Museum is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.



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