Manchester City Council can confirm that it is in talks with the National Football Museum about proposals for it to relocate to Urbis.
Discussions are still at an early stage but all parties agree that the idea represents an exciting opportunity to build on the achievements of the Urbis team, who helped attract more than a quarter of a million visitors to Urbis last year.
The National Football Museum, currently located in Preston, has also been a great success, attracting over 100,000 visitors each year. However, it no longer has sufficient funding to continue operating at its current location.
The Millennium Quarter Trust, which oversees the running of Urbis, last week backed the proposals for the move in principal and agreed that discussions should proceed to the next stage.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester is renowned around the world for its footballing heritage and attracts more visitors than any English city outside London. Having a nationally significant football destination here would make perfect sense so when the National Football Museum approached us we were naturally keen to explore this exciting idea. Talks have been very positive so far.”
Paul Dermody, Chair of Trustees of the National Football Museum, said: “While the museum has gone from success to success in Preston since it opened in 2001, the funding of the museum has always been a concern, but with the backing of Manchester City Council, DCMS and the football family its future will be secured and the museum’s success will continue to expand as the collections and the community work it undertakes will be exposed to a significantly greater audience than at present.”
David Moutrey, Chairman of the Millennium Quarter Trust Board, said: “The Millennium Quarter Trust is delighted to be helping the National Football Museum explore its future along with Urbis. There are obvious synergies between the organisations, as both deal with elements of popular culture that have been vital to the history and reputation of the city. We are happy to use our experience to work with a museum that hosts such an important collection and archive.”
The National Football Museum proposals further underline Manchester’s credentials as a football heartland at a time when the city is bidding to be a host city if England wins the right to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.
Source: Manchester City Council