The Prime Minister chose the Science and Industry Museum to announce a new vision to rebalance growth, productivity and power and promised a new Manchester-Leeds Rail Route to help unleash this regional growth.
Speaking in the Revolution Manchester gallery against the backdrop of Stephenson’s Rocket, where earlier this month the Bank of England announced that Alan Turing will feature on the new £50 note, he said “we need to help places everywhere shape their cultural structure … time and time again Manchester has shown the world what’s possible“.
It’s tremendous that the Prime Minister has chosen the Science and Industry Museum for his first visit to a cultural institution since taking office. This is the second major announcement made at museum this month and it’s a tribute not just to our museum but to the vibrancy and importance of Manchester as a city.
The Science and Industry Museum is devoted to inspiring visitors through ideas that change the world, from the Industrial Revolution to today and beyond.
It’s a story that we’re uniquely placed to tell—on the site of the world’s first inter-city railway, in the heart of the world’s first industrial city, today alive with innovative discoveries in science and technology.
Stephenson’s Rocket is an iconic symbol, recently returned to Manchester for the first time in over 180 years. Built to run on the Manchester to Liverpool railway, its technology paved the way for the modern rail network today, shaping the course of history and the world we live in today.
The Prime Minister described culture as one of the four ingredients of success for the UK. He said “people love Manchester because of the fantastic arts and entertainment here, the football and music, the heritage and the creative industries that make it such a lively, wonderful place to live and work. We need to help places everywhere to strengthen their cultural and creative infrastructure, the gathering places that give a community its life.”
We’re proud that this museum plays a critical part in Manchester’s cultural life. We produce the country’s largest and most popular science festival, a changing programme of exhibitions and events and increasingly we’re programming with Manchester International Festival, our neighbours-to-be, to bring world-class arts-science programming to the city.
We’re also proud to be the home of the Trans Pennine STEM Ambassador hub which operates across Greater Manchester, West and North Yorkshire. In Manchester we have over 1500 volunteer ambassadors, working or studying in Science Technology, Engineering and Maths fields. These ambassadors work in our schools and communities supporting teachers, and acting as inspirational role models for young people. Manchester’s digital, construction and health sectors are booming, so recruiting young people with these skills is vital to the future of our economy and growth as a city.
The PM’s visit comes a week after we announced that The Power Hall – one of the most beloved industrial heritage galleries in the country – is to be restored to full working condition thanks to a £6 million contribution from the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport.
Announced in the museum’s 50th birthday year, the transformation is part of an ambitious, multi-million-pound long-term plan for a successful and sustainable museum for all.
Over the next decade we’re transforming our museum, to reveal the fascinating stories of our site and its role in the development of Manchester and the industrial world.
Everyone who visits will understand how what happened here changed the world. We can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.