Co-op "vote" of confidence for Pankhurst Centre

07 October 2019

Co-op has stepped in with a funding boost after an inspirational Manchester museum - which "symbolises so much in the campaign for women’s equality" - had been broken into twice in the last week.

Volunteers at the Pankhurst Centre had said repairs and much-needed security would “cost thousands” and that it was already “struggling for survival” when Co-op stepped in with a £10,000 donation.

The funding boost will now enable repairs to be made to the Nelson Street museum’s broken windows and doors, as well as the necessary security improvements.

This news comes as the Pankhurst Trust prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the suffragette movement - which was founded on 10 October, 1903.

The Pankhurst Centre is a site of historical significance as the home of Emmeline Pankhurst, and her family, who led the suffragette campaign for Votes for Women. It is the place where the first meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union was held.

Co-op's own history traces back to The Rochdale Pioneers in 1844, with women having full membership and voting rights decades ahead of gaining electoral equality.

Francesca Raine, Fundraising and Development Manager, Pankhurst Trust, said: “We are absolutely over-joyed and blown away by the support - everyone connected to the museum was heartbroken that the Pankhurst Centre, which symbolises so much in the campaign for women’s equality, should suffer such a set-back. However, this show of support from the Co-op means so much, it really has made a difference - not only can we complete the urgent work, but it has given all at the Centre a much needed boost ahead of our upcoming events and celebrations this week. We still have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure the continued survival of the Pankhurst Centre, but have been so encouraged by the love that has been shown and we extend a huge thank you to all that have reached out to offer their support.”

With equality at the core of the Co-op today, the Grocery Girls - Founded by Jo Whitfield, CEO of Co-op Food - is a social enterprise focused on increasing female representation in senior roles. It does this by coaching, inspiring and empowering women so they’re ready and able to grab hold of senior roles. It also works to challenge bias and help everyone in the industry understand the importance of a diverse workforce. To join the Grocery Girls network go to

The Pankhurst Centre receives no public funding and relies on voluntary work, donations and small grants. The Pankhurst Trust's long term vision for the Pankhurst Centre is for it to be fully restored and transformed into a museum of world-class standing. For further information visit

Those wishing to support the Pankhurst Centre can do so at

Further information:
Andrew Torr
Co-op Press Office
M: 07702505551