The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery was due to close in late 2019 for redevelopments, but this has now been pushed back to after the city has hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2022

Images by Elliott Brown

The three-year closure was announced as part of plans to modernise the 19th Century Grade II listed council house complex, which the museum occupies part of. This redevelopment will address outdated electrics, however will also result in the museum losing 6,870 square metres of the space it currently uses.

The public statement from the museum states: ‘Birmingham City Council are proposing to reschedule their modernisation works on the Council House complex until after the Commonwealth Games in 2022. This will mean that Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery will no longer be closing in late 2019.

‘This does not change our ambitions to redevelop the museum. We will continue to plan the new displays and public facilities so that work can begin onsite sometime after 2022.

‘Thank you to everyone who visits and supports the museum. We will keep you updated on our exciting plans.’

Arts and Culture Blogger Ruth Millington told Redbrick: ‘It’s excellent news that the museum is staying open until 2022. It gives Birmingham the chance to showcase its important cultural collection and history, including Pre-Raphaelite paintings, to visitors in the run-up to and during the Commonwealth Games.’

As part of this overhaul, the former Poolway Shopping Centre in Yardley is being made home to a new collection and cultural centre, as well as the new headquarters for Birmingham Museums Trust. The Yardley site will house the museum’s collections, totalling around one million objects, and will make these more accessible for visitors to view. The Trust have said the plans for this will be unaffected by the Museum closure delay.

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery receives over 700,000 visitors each year, and is the flagship site of Birmingham Museums Trust.