The Pankhurst Trust has been awarded funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to embark upon a project called Rooms of Our Own, which will reveal the hidden ‘herstory’ of Manchester’s Pankhurst Centre.

Although now recognised internationally as a site of historic importance, as the former home of Emmeline Pankhurst and the place from where the suffragette movement was born, for many years the Pankhurst Centre’s significance was overlooked.  It was thanks to women’s activism that the quest began in the 1970s to save the building, which faced the very real threat of demolition in 1978.  This hard fought campaign, and the vision that from it led to the creation of a museum and feminist hub, has never been fully explored until now.

Rooms of Our Own will introduce young people aged 18-25 to the Pankhurst Centre’s own past in order to connect to activism today.  As it progresses the archive will be used to inspire creativity, including the production of original theatre, music and artwork, with lots of participatory opportunities.  But first the project wants to hear stories and voices of campaigners from the 1970s to 2014 when the centre was merged with Manchester Women’s Aid

Claire Selby, Project Co-ordinator for Rooms of Our Own, says, “We owe these campaigners a debt of gratitude, for there are few other more iconic places that represent the suffragette movement than the Pankhurst Centre.  However, many of the campaigners from the 1970s will now be in their 60s and 70s and we want to not only ensure that this chapter of history is captured, but for young people today to experience this crucial part of Manchester’s radical history that the Pankhurst Centre represents.

“We are very keen to hear from anyone who was involved in the campaign to save the Pankhurst Centre in the 1970s and 80s that we are not already in touch with, and for them to share their stories as part of the legacy that this project will create.”

The funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund will help to secure the Pankhurst Centre archive and its content and will also take it a step closer towards achieving its vision of being a world-class heritage site, museum and activist space.

This follows the summer opening of the Pankhurst Centre’s new permanent exhibition, At Home with the Pankhurst Family, which was made possible thanks to funding from AIM Biffa Award History Makers, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.  Looking to the future, the Pankhurst Trust wants to see the Grade II* listed Pankhurst Centre fully restored, which is the quest of its small team and dedicated supporters.

Anyone who would like to share their story of campaigning for the Pankhurst Centre in the 1970s and 1980s can get in touch directly with Claire Selby, Rooms of Our Own Project Co-ordinator, via


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