Manchester wins government funding for Pankhurst Centre and statue


Manchester is to receive £370,000 from the government’s Centenary Cities Fund for two projects which mark the centenary of The Representation of the People Act (1918), which gave some women the right to vote.

The Pankhurst Centre, the former home of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, has been awarded £144,594 to capture and curate how the city of Manchester marks the centenary.

The funding will also help develop the museum at the Pankhurst Centre into a world-class authority on the story of the fight for women’s equality, through the capture of the photography, digital and creative work produced during 2018.

Another project, Some Women, will use the legacy of the fight for suffrage to inspire conversations with young people in secondary schools and grassroots community groups, with an education programme that focuses upon political engagement in the 21st century.

The Centenary Cities Fund will also be providing funding towards the creation of Our Emmeline, Emmeline Pankhurst statue, which will be located in St Peter’s Square.

© Pankhurst Trust

The campaign to have a statue erected began in 2014, when Councillor Andrew Simcock set out to address the lack of representation of women amongst the city’s statues.

From a short list of six female figures, who had all made a significant contribution to the city, Emmeline Pankhurst was selected as the clear favourite during a public vote held in 2015.

The public then went on to select sculptor Hazel Reeves’ Rise Up, Women as the winning design in April 2017 from a short list of maquettes created by six sculptors.

“It’s fantastic that the Pankhurst Centre and Our Emmeline statue have received government support,” said Dr Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and patron of the Pankhurst Trust.

“For the Pankhurst Centre this means that the house where the suffragette movement started will feature as a central part of the plans to mark the Representation of the People Act (1918), a house which also hosts a museum dedicated to the movement, an active women’s centre and undertakes legacy related outreach work.

“As for the statue, Emmeline is a globally iconic figure much beloved in her home town of Manchester.  She will stand guard as an enduring reminder of the struggle for the vote, beckoning us to keep going forward as we continue the journey towards gender equality.”

In a recent poll, Mrs Pankhurst was voted the Greatest Northerner of all time.

The Pankhurst Centre has a calendar of events and exhibitions in place for 2018 to mark the centenary of the first women receiving the vote, from an exhibition called Women’s Words (6 February to 31 March), that presents the stories of women living and working in Manchester, to the screening of the film Suffragette (8 March).

For further information on the Pankhurst Centre click here.

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