The National Football Museum, one of Manchester’s most popular cultural attractions, reopened its doors to the public today having refreshed its offer for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit every year.
The museum hosted a launch on Monday morning where 90 children from three local schools were in attendance for a preview of the transformation, alongside volunteers and adult learners taking part in the museum’s unique Achieve Your Goals courses.
The children were from Saviour CoE Primary School, Abbott Community Primary School and St Malachy’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Manchester.
“We invited 90 children from three Manchester primary schools to be our first VIP visitors to explore the National Football Museum today, which was a fantastic way to symbolise the new direction that the charity is taking; one that puts social value at the heart of what we do,” said chief executive Tim Desmond.
“We want to work closer than ever with local communities using football as a way to excite people, educate people and make the museum an even greater asset to the city than it already is.”
As part of its new remit the museum, funded primarily by Manchester City Council, will work more with local communities and marginalised sections of society and evolve its exhibition space to explore ‘football’s central role in our lives and our world’.
There was also a preview of the permanent exhibition ‘England on the World Stage’ which for the first time will chart the England women’s team alongside the men’s.
Because of the nature of its funding, the National Football Museum will remain free of charge to all city of Manchester residents and to all Manchester schools.
All other visitors and tourists to the city will have the opportunity to buy a one-off ticket that will allow them to come back to visit a rolling programme of events and exhibitions as many times as they want for a whole year.
Funds raised by the charge will be invested back into the newly formed National Football Museum Community section of the charity.
This will focus on new opportunities for volunteers, a more regular programme of public events and special exhibitions, and community projects aimed at raising attainment, improving mental health and increasing self-confidence.