Devolution deal could see migration museum

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The Royal Liver Building at the dockside. Photo: Ida Husøy

The Royal Liver Building at the dockside. Photo: Ida Husøy

An Ellis Island-style National Migration Museum may be coming to Liverpool to commemorate people who have travelled to the country via the city’s port.

The proposal is one which emerged from a devolution deal signed by Liverpool city region leaders and government ministers last week. It coincides with the work of the Migration Museum Project to create the UK’s first dedicated migration museum in London.

The plan for a National Migration Museum was unveiled as part of a package to create an elected metro mayor, putting arts and culture at the heart of the city’s devolution deal.

The centre will tell the story of nine million people from across Britain, Europe and beyond leaving Liverpool in the 19th and 20th centuries as they sailed to the New World. It will also chart the history of the thousands more who came from China, Ireland, and more who stayed.

Liverpool’s director of culture, Clare McColgan, said: “The future for our culture, and our museums and galleries is bright. It is a nationally recognised collection and we will not lose the title of ‘national’ under this deal.

“We are proud of our cultural assets and we want to make sure they are looked after and preserved for future generations over the next 100 or 200 years.”

The devolution document doesn’t make any promises for the migration museum, stating: “The government notes that Liverpool city region will work to realise Liverpool’s ambition to develop a National Migration Museum to reflect its international heritage and contemporary future.”

David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool, told JMU Journalism: “Liverpool City Region’s devolution agreement with Government illustrates how important National Museums Liverpool is to Merseyside. We look forward to being involved in further discussions to secure a sustainable future for the museums.”

About Amber Pritchard, JMU Journalism