Councillor Rosa Battle on the fight to save MOSI
Growing up in Manchester, school holidays meant one thing - the Museum of Science and Industry.
We would spend the whole day running around having fun while learning about the industrial revolution and being mesmerized by the huge aircrafts and steam trains.
Fast forward 20 years and this week it’s my turn to sneak in education and learning - disguised as fun - as I spend the afternoon chasing my kids around MOSI listening to the constant gasps of "wow" "more" and "again?"
MOSI is uniquely placed in allowing young people to get excited by science and helping to realise a passion for discovery, which is why the recent announcements that there is a potential threat to MOSI, and its sister museums in York and Bradford is not just bad news for those of us that visit them but it is bad news for us all.
These three museums are not only a fantastic educational resource for school children and a place for families and tourists to visit but they are also crucial in ensuring that our young people can play their part in shaping and contributing to our country's economic future.
MOSI not only brings in £7m to the Manchester economy, it is a internationally renowned facility, leading the way at promoting STEM - Science Technology Engineering and Maths. To put it bluntly, if Manchester and the UK are to truly compete on an ever competitive global stage, and see our economy grow then STEM subjects are the areas that we both have to invest in and also to get people excited about.
Dr Patrick Greene OBE, who co-founded MOSI, recently said "one of its (MOSI) distinct roles was to inspire people in science and technology. After all, that is what Manchester has been built on.…Science-based smart industries have to be the future of Manchester. But only if young people put their feet on the ladder to study science and technology is that possible"
That is why any Government cuts to funding for MOSI, The Railway Museum or Bradford Media Museum as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review tomorrow would be at best described as shortsighted and at worse recklessly dangerous - not only for Manchester, Bradford and York, but also the rest of the country.
So let's last give it one last push and all sign the MEN petition and ask that MOSI’s funding is guaranteed and allow this fantastic museum to stay open for everyone to access for free, helping to inspire and galvanize the next generation.