Open letter to save People’s History Museum is launched

Article published: Friday, November 26th 2010

MULE has joined a list of signatories calling for funding to be reinstated for the People’s History Museum in Manchester and other ‘non-national’ museums whose existence is threatened by swingeing government cuts on the arts and culture.

In an open letter to the ConDem coalition government, the MULE Editorial Collective joins Councillors, academics, authors and historians who come together to express their concern that museums are now in the firing line for destructive cuts. They highlight at the same time that money is being liberally thrown away on wasteful projects like nuclear weapons, while vast amounts of corporation tax goes uncollected and bankers continue to pay themselves astronomical bonuses.

Prominent signatories include Green MP Caroline Lucas and Labour MP John McDonnell, as well as Stephen Kingston, editor of renowned community publication The Salford Star.

As reported by MULE last week, The Peoples’ History Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry – both in Manchester – were hit with 15% cuts by the Comprehensive Spending Review in October. Now all of their funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is to be cut from 2015.

The People’s History Museum holds the largest collection of historic trade union and political banners in the world, with over 400 including the world’s oldest trade union banner, that of the Liverpool Tinplate Workers of 1821.

Martin Empson of the Manchester Right to Work campaign who co-ordinated the open letter said that “It is particularly ironic that the People’s History Museum is losing its funding. This is a museum dedicated to the collective struggles of ordinary, working class people for their rights. At a time when we face huge cuts in the welfare state, the lessons of history that are represented by the People’s History Museum are important for all of us.”

To see the full text of the open letter and its signatories and sign yourself, click here

For more information on this open letter, or further questions, please contact: Martin Empson, Manchester Right to Work Campaign, 079 585 35231,

More: Culture, Manchester, News


  1. […] – on the controversial ground that they are classified as ‘non-national’ museums. Critics of the decision pointed out that many of the museums in the government’s crosshair, such as the National Coal […]

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