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National Rugby Museum to move to Manchester

The National Rugby Museum will be moved to Manchester although the site in Preston is set to remain as a second exhibition area, according to Crain's.

The museum's trustees, who are grappling with a major shortfall in funding, yesterday decided to switch most of the collection to Urbis while keeping a second exhibition base in the existing museum at Preston North End's Deepdale ground.

The move was condemned by the leaders of Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council, which campaigned to keep the 8-year-old museum in the city. Manchester politicians and officials were jubilant, saying the move would boost the city's tourism offer.

The museum trustees, headed by former De Vere Hotels chief executive Paul Dermody, said in a statement: "The trustees resolved in principle to establish the National Rugby Museum at Urbis in Manchester, subject to receiving assurances on certain potential liabilities.

"In the meantime, we reaffirm our desire to maintain the publicly-accessible museum at Preston and will enter into further discussions with the Lancashire County Council consortium to achieve this aim.

"The museum will in addition retain its research partnership with UCLan's International Rugby Institute, which means that Preston will remain a major centre for football research, attracting visiting academics and other researchers from around the world."

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