New town centre arts hub comes to the Hat Works Museum

A new Stockport town centre arts hub will soon be opening its doors as a creative arts organisation gets set up in its new home at the Hat Works.

Arc will re-locate to part of the museum from their former premises in Reddish as early as next week, allowing young people and vulnerable adults to attend a range of programmes, a Saturday Art club and the café, which will be open to all visitors.

The town centre move for Arc comes as the Council looks to make several changes to make the Hat Works more sustainable in the future.

The investment will bring transformation to the UK’s only museum of hats, making it into a more vibrant space for visitors, with a new learning space, improved lighting, better interpretation and more of the museum’s wonderful hatting collection on display.

A grant from the Association for Industrial Archaeology will also restore 30 Victorian hatting machines to full working order, and visitors will once again be able to experience the sights and sounds of a working machinery floor.

To carry out the extent of the work, the gallery of hats and machinery floor will be closed from Tuesday 3rd December.Visitors will still be able to use the café area and museum gift shop from Wednesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm.

Hat Works will also still open for comedy, music and other public events such as Makers at the Mill Craft Fair on Saturday December 7 from 11am – 4pm and ticketed talks such as Amber Butchart’s ‘My favourite Hats in History’ on Saturday November 30 at 2pm. Booking on the EventBrite page.

Peter Ashworth, Stockport Council’s Head of Culture and Leisure, said: “Hat Works is an iconic building which helps define Stockport’s identity. Local people are proud of its hatting heritage and as we celebrates its 20th anniversary next year, it is fitting that this investment will enable us to re-invigorate a key cultural asset for our communities today and for future generations.”

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