Work is moving forward on plans for Manchester’s Pankhurst Centre
Work is moving forward on plans for Manchester’s Pankhurst Centre, and the reopening of the birthplace of the suffragette movement to visitors, which is due to take place in summer 2021 with new permanent exhibition, At Home with the Pankhurst Family.
At Home with the Pankhurst Family will explore the life of the Pankhurst family in a participatory and immersive visitor experience. Funded by AIM Biffa Award History Makers, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund, the exhibition will present the different perspectives and viewpoints of the family and of the broader suffrage movement and allow visitors to go on their own journey of discovery. Specialist museum designers Mather & Co. have been appointed to help awaken this exciting chapter of history and are working alongside the small Pankhurst Centre team and its volunteers.
In the long-term the Pankhurst Trust aims to transform the Pankhurst Centre into an heritage site and activist space befitting the legacy of the suffragettes. However, some repair work to the historic building has become more urgent, which includes the pillars and stone steps that frame the front doors of 60 and 62 Nelson Street.
Since it opened to visitors back in 1987, the pillars and steps leading into the Grade II* listed Pankhurst Centre have been gradually wearing away and have been in need of repair for some time. Conservation work on the pillars has begun and is able to proceed thanks to donations from Friends of the Pankhurst Centre and supporters, including corporate donors. The project is being managed by BTP Architects, and completed by Heritage Conservation Ltd who specialise in the restoration and conservation of Britain’s historic and listed buildings and monuments.
When the doors reopen to the Pankhurst Centre it’s not only the pillars and steps that will improve the welcome to visitors, but a stained glass design that has been commissioned for the lobby door leading into Emmeline Pankhurst’s former home. This will colourfully tell the story of the fight for women’s equality past, present and future, and illuminate the experience that lies ahead.
The Pankhurst Centre is going through a positive period of change, but as a small heritage organisation reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it faces huge ongoing challenges. You can play your part in the next steps of the Pankhurst Centre’s story by volunteering or becoming a Friend. There are a number of different volunteering opportunities that will be available in the coming months, sign up to the mailing list to be the first to hear more. Friends of the Pankhurst Centre make a valuable contribution to the ongoing support of the Pankhurst Centre, with contributions starting from £3 a month. More details are available here: www.pankhursttrust.org/pankhurst-centre/become-friend-pankhurst