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Relocating Football Museum could cost £8m

A report by Manchester City Council puts the cost of moving the National Football Museum (NFM) from Preston to Manchester city centre at £8m.

But if the proposed move from Deepdale, the home of Preston North End Football Club, to Urbis does go ahead, the council will eventually be able to reduce the £2m annual grant it pays towards the running of the building.

A report set to go before the council’s executive next week said the overall capital costs of the move “are estimated to be up to £8m”, although the majority of the funding would come from “external stakeholders in a partnership arrangement” with money also coming from the city council, “potentially” linked to financial contributions from new developments in the area.

“It is proposed that the existing revenue grant of £2m per annum currently paid to Urbis would be maintained for the National Football Museum at Urbis to cover all the costs of the overall operation,” said the report. “It is anticipated that over time this contribution will reduce as commercially earned income increases.”


The report said the £8m would enable the conversion of Urbis and the design and installation of both the NFM collection currently on display in Preston and a new “interactive interpretative element” alongside a temporary exhibition space.

If the museum does move, the layout of Urbis would require a rethink as it would need to use the whole building. Although The Modern restaurant should remain unaffected, the council said it had held talks with the building’s tenant, Channel M, about “future options.”

The council has appointed Locum Consulting and KPMG to work with directors of both the NFM and Urbis, to develop the proposal and estimate costs. A further report into “detailed funding and delivery arrangements” would be produced before Christmas if Manchester’s bid is successful.

A decision is expected to be made by the museum’s trustees later this month.

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