All change at Hat Works Museum

Temporary, partial closure makes way for big, exciting changes as Stockport Council’s Hat Works will see parts of it close to visitors until mid/late 2020.

This will involve weekend closures unless specific events are taking place.

From October 2019, the Gallery of Hats on the middle floor will temporarily close as re-development work transforms it into a vibrant place for visitors to enjoy, with a new learning space and more of the museum’s wonderful hatting collection on display.

From January 2020, restoration will begin to the Victorian hatting machines on the Factory Floor. Until works commence, visitors will still be able to see the hatting machines and be offered a guided tour to find out about the history of hatting in Stockport every Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm.

Cllr Kate Butler, Stockport Council Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement, said: “Hatting was the region’s specialist trade and one for which it was held in high regard across the world. The people of Stockport are rightly proud of our cultural and industrial history and it’s our aim to preserve and celebrate that heritage while developing Hat Works in to a dynamic hub of creativity and innovation.

"Next year, Hat Works celebrates its 20th anniversary, so it is fitting that this investment will enable us to re-invigorate one of Stockport’s key cultural assets for our communities today and for future generations.”

A grant of £16,500 from the Association for Industrial Archaeology will fund restoration of the Victorian hatting machines on the Factory Floor. They will be restored to full working order and visitors will once again be able to experience the sights and sounds of a working machinery floor.

David de Haan, Secretary of the Association for Industrial Archaeology added: “A record number of applications came in this year and we are delighted to make this award to Hat Works for the restoration of 30 fur felt hatting machines.”

The news follows an announcement earlier this month that Hat Works is forging a new partnership with community arts organisation Arc, who are re-locating to Hat Works in October/November 2019 from their premises in Reddish.

Hat Works will still be open for millinery courses, historic talks, comedy and music performances during closure. The café area will remain open to visitors during Arc’s public opening hours. Once Arc move in, they will run the café which will be open to all visitors.

Hat Works will fully re-open in 2020 to coincide with its 20th anniversary.