Pankhurst Centre: Museum handed £20k to fix vandal damage

Broken windows a the Pankhurst Centre in Manchester Image copyright Pankhurst Centre
Image caption Windows were smashed during the break-in at the Pankhurst Centre

An appeal to repair damage caused by an intruder at a museum which is the former home of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst has raised almost £20,000.

Windows were shattered and furnishings damaged at Manchester's Pankhurst Centre during a break-in on 1 October.

A man was later found asleep on beanbags inside the building, the centre said.

Managers for the charity-run museum said they had been "blown away" by the donations.

The centre receives no public funding and the cost of the repairs has been estimated at about £15,000.

Donations included a £10,000 pledge from the Co-op.

Image copyright The Pankhurst Centre
Image caption The vandalism happened despite security being stepped up

Museum boss Gail Heath said she arrived at the centre to find the building's "beautiful Georgian windows" had been "kicked in" and suffragette costumes were also damaged.

Security had already been stepped up after a previous break-in just a few days before, the Pankhurst Trust charity said.

Staff member Francesca Raine said the donations had given everyone a "much needed boost" ahead of events celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the suffragette movement on Thursday.

Image copyright Pankhurst Trust
Image caption The cost of the repair work has been estimated at about £15,000

Andrew Lofty, from the Co-op, said: "Equal voting rights for women have existed at the Co-op since it began in 1844, and we felt that we could not sit back when an inspirational museum in our home city which celebrates equality needed help."

Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union - later known as the suffragettes - at the building in Nelson Street in 1903.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Emmeline Pankhurst founded the suffragettes movement in the early 20th Century

The centre is also home to Manchester Women's Aid.

A statue of Emmeline Pankhurst was unveiled in Manchester in December to mark a century since British women first voted in a general election.

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