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Work completed to People’s History Museum’s historic Pump House

12 March 2020

Left to right Engine Hall valuted ceiling, Engine Hall wedding ceremony, exterior Corten metal shell extension & Edwardian Engine Hall © People's History Museum

People’s History Museum (PHM), the national museum of democracy, has completed important building works to its Grade II listed Edwardian Pump House, which have been made possible by a grant from Viridor Credits and the Landfill Communities Fund.

Built between 1907 and 1909 the Pump House was designed by City Architect Henry Price.  Once providing power across Manchester, its vast Engine Hall is now where   People’s History Museum holds events, learning sessions, workshops and community exhibitions.  The project funded by Viridor Credits has enabled essential works to be carried out to the large expanse of windows, wall surfaces and flooring to increase heat retention and to improve the quality of sound in the vast space.

The Pump House is part of the overall museum site at People’s History Museum, which includes a contemporary Cor-Ten® steel clad building that was opened to the public in 2010.  A glass walkway connects the two, with the new building being where the museum’s main galleries, archive and study centre, conservation studio and Left Bank cafe bar are located.

Katy Ashton, Director of People’s History Museum, says, “We love the fact that part of our museum site incorporates this historic Manchester building that reflects the fabric of the city.  As with the care of any historic listed building, there are responsibilities and challenges.  So we are delighted that thanks to the support of Viridor Credits we have been able to make important building improvements to the Pump House.”

In addition to being used as a community space the Engine Hall and meeting room spaces within the original Pump House building are available to hire for meetings, workshops and conferences.

People’s History Museum is the UK’s only museum entirely dedicated to sharing the stories of the revolutionaries, reformers, workers, voters and citizens who championed, then and now, for change and rallied for rights and equality.  During 2020 through events, exhibitions, learning sessions and creative community collaborations, it will be exploring the theme of migration.

People’s History Museum, located in central Manchester, is open seven days a week, from 10.00am to 5.00pm.  Radical Lates are on the second Thursday each month, open until 8.00pm.  The museum and its exhibitions are free to visit with a suggested donation of £5.  To find out about visiting the museum, its full exhibitions and events programme visit


For further information, or to set up an interview please contact Fido PR: / 0161 832 3588


A selection of images are available here:–FPoMXpFLbma?dl=0

About People’s History Museum (PHM)

People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.  The museum provides opportunities for all people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.  PHM offers a powerful programme with annual themes; 2018 looked at representation and commemorated 100 years since the first women and all men won the right to vote in Britain, in 2019 the focus was on protest to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, the programme for 2020 is on the theme of migration and 2021 will explore disabled people’s rights and activism.  Previous winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

About Arts Council England (ACE)

PHM is an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).  The work of PHM is supported using public funding by ACE, the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives.  ACE support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.  Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.  In short, it makes life better.  Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from The National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

About Viridor Credits and the Landfill Communities Fund

Viridor Credits Environmental Company is an independent, not for profit organisation which provides funding for community, heritage and biodiversity projects around the UK through the Landfill Communities Fund and Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.

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