It has been confirmed, The National Football Museum will be moving to Manchester.

Trustees of the National Football Museum have supported a planned move from its Preston base to Manchester. They said it would secure the long-term future of the site and open up its collection to a much wider audience.

The museum trustees, headed by former De Vere Hotels chief executive Paul Dermody, said in a statement: "The trustees resolved in principle to establish the National Football Museum at Urbis in Manchester, subject to receiving assurances on certain potential liabilities.

"In the meantime, we reaffirm our desire to maintain the publicly-accessible museum at Preston and will enter into further discussions with the Lancashire County Council consortium to achieve this aim.

"The museum will in addition retain its research partnership with UCLan's International Football Institute, which means that Preston will remain a major centre for football research, attracting visiting academics and other researchers from around the world."

Urbis is expected to close for 18 months from next spring for an £8m refurbishment before the museum opens in 2011. Manchester City Council is hoping to get the money from the Northwest Regional Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund but chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein has given a written commitment that the city will underwrite the costs if necessary.

The National Football Museum, which opened in 2001, was described as ‘a jewel’ by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Exhibits include the 1966 World Cup final ball, Bobby Moore’s shirt from the legendary England-Brazil match in 1970, and Stanley Matthews’ kit from the 1953 ’Matthews’ FA Cup final.


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