Bob Neill, Olympics Legacy and Growth Minister, visited Manchester last week as the Olympic action kicked off in the city at Old Trafford.
But while a key reason for his visit was to attend the Olympic Football matches at Old Trafford, he also found time to visit some key projects within the Manchester area, including the landmark and internationally acclaimed National Football Museum in the city centre.
Museum Director and founder Kevin Moore was on hand to show the Minister, a keen football fan, around the four floors of football artefacts, memorabilia and interactive games and displays. The Museum which has received financial backing from Manchester City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, has also received £3.8 million from the North West European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme, managed by Bob Neill’s department, the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The Minister said:
This is a truly world class attraction which seizes on the local love of football and brings it to life in a fantastic way. The museum will bring many thousands of visitors into the city and the surrounding area and will have a major impact on the local economy, local supply chains and local people.
I am hugely impressed with what this museum has to offer - an intriguing and inspiring collection complimented wonderfully by the exciting interactive games and displays. I’m definitely coming back so I can spend a whole day here - if you like football you’ll love this place.
The Museum, which has an annual visitor target of 350,000, has been extremely busy since it opened at the beginning of July. Entry to the venue is free with charges only made for some of the interactive games, which include a life-size penalty shoot-out simulator.
Museum Director Kevin Moore said:
Designers asked me if they could just reduce the length of the penalty simulator by 10 centimetres to make it easier to build - I said absolutely not, it’s got to be the full 12 yards. We’ve worked hard to make sure everything is authentic across the whole museum.
During his day in Manchester, the Minister also visited the Enterprise Zone facilities at Manchester Airport and University Hospital South Manchester and another ERDF project, the soon to be opened Media Enterprise Centre at MediaCity.
Notes to editors
European Regional Development Fund in the Northwest
The European Regional Development Fund is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, the Fund is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment.
The European Regional Development Fund in the North West is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. For further information visit: www.communities.gov.uk/erdf.
The National Football Museum was established and its collection acquired thanks to £9.3 million investment by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Museum has also received £3.8 million in funding from the European Regional Development Fund and significant financial support from Manchester City Council.
The National Football Museum is a registered charity overseen by a board of trustees, and also counts notable names amongst its honorary positions, including Museum President Sir Bobby Charlton, Museum Vice Presidents Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Tom Finney, Sir Trevor Brooking and Sir Geoff Hurst, plus Museum Special Ambassador Mark Lawrenson.
The museum will also provide a permanent home for its nationally-recognised Hall of Fame, with new legends being inducted in a prestigious awards ceremony every year.
The museum is expected to attract over 350,000 visitors per year.
Entrance will be free, and to enhance the Museum experience, it will include some additional exclusive paid-for interactive exhibitions to help to ensure that visitors enjoy one of the best days out in the city.
For further information visit: www.nationalfootballmuseum.com.
Claire Dixon was a torch bearer on 23 June in Reedsholme, Manchester.
A former professional cyclist, Claire’s career was ended abruptly by a life threatening accident in which she suffered a brain haemorrhage and broke her back in two places. She fought back to write and present TV sports programmes, showcase the legacy of world events in Manchester and champion grass routes sports schemes.