Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Football museum to open new base

Jules Rimet Trophy
A version of the Jules Rimet Trophy is among the museum's exhibits

The National Football Museum is to move its main base to Manchester, but hopes to keep a presence at its current Lancashire site, officials have said.

Controversial plans to leave Preston North End's Deepdale stadium and move to Manchester's Urbis museum were revealed in October.

The idea, to secure the site's future funding, sparked protests in Preston.

Paul Dermody, the museum's chairman, said a "public face" would be retained in Preston if funding can be secured.

Storage of the 34,000-item collection and the back-of-house operations are to remain in Lancashire.

Mr Dermody added: "The outcome was that we have decided to open the National Football Museum at Urbis in Manchester.

"We recognise the importance of the museum here in Preston and we will continue our negotiations."

'Absolutely devastated'

It is understood exhibits are to be refreshed and moved between the main site and the secondary base planned in Lancashire.

But Councillor Ken Hudson, leader of Preston City Council, said: "I am absolutely devastated that the trustees have made this decision to move the museum."

Up to 100,000 people a year currently visit the museum.

Most importantly it keeps it here, safe in the North West
Paul Dermody, chairman of the National Football Museum

Items on show include the ball from the 1966 World Cup final, Diego Maradona's shirt from the "Hand of God" game between England and Argentina in 1986 and the oldest FA Cup trophy.

Preston North End was one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, becoming the first team to do the League and FA Cup "double".

Its stadium, Deepdale, is one of the oldest professional football grounds in the world, which was one of the factors in locating the museum in Preston.

Museum bosses are now in talks with the Lancashire consortium which had bid to keep the museum - Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council and the University of Central Lancashire - to get funding for the smaller site.

Backroom staff have been given assurance their jobs are safe.

"If we can get the funding then the front-of-house jobs are safe too," added Mr Dermody.

"Most importantly it keeps it here, safe in the North West."

The museum opened in 2001.

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