Almost 10 years after the museum moved from Preston, the city council is to approve a new 25-year lease and continued investment in the tourist attraction.
Previously located at Preston North End’s Deepdale stadium, the National Football Museum moved to the SimpsonHaugh-designed Urbis in Manchester in 2012, signing a 10-year lease.
Manchester City Council invested an initial £3.78m to facilitate the relocation. The European Regional Development Fund matched that amount.
Since then, the council has provided annual grant funding for the museum of £1.45m.
The existing 10-year lease expires next spring and is to be surrendered this autumn when the new 25-year lease is signed.
The agreement is a sublease between the museum and the council-owned Millennium Quarter Trust. MQT was established in 2002 to oversee the area of the city centre comprising Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Square, the Cathedral Visitor Centre and Urbis.
MQT signed an 85-year head lease on the building in 2002.
Under the terms of the museum’s new lease, the amount the council gives every rear will reduce.
The museum will benefit from £1.4m in 2022/23, £1.35m in 2023/24 and £1.25m in 2024/25.
The annual funding arrangement will then be revaluated in 2025. The museum will pay a peppercorn rent.
According to a report to Manchester City Council’s executive, the museum is “ideally located to benefit from Manchester’s position as a world-renowned destination for sport and a global home to football”.
The National Football Museum contains 40,000 objects relating to football and the social history of the game including trophies, memorabilia, and art.
Admission to the museum used to be free. However, a charge was introduced for non-Manchester residents at the start of 2019.
This change boosted the attraction’s coffers by almost £700,000 in the first year to £1m.
Around 160,000 people visited the museum every year prior to the pandemic and, through a series of upgrades and projects, it is hoped that could rise to 300,000 by 2024.
The plans to improve the museum include a redeveloped welcome space, and an interactive installation that celebrates technological innovation and design in football.