Unity Hall opening its doors with Selina Cooper exhibition

The Selina Cooper and Unity Hall project is finally ready to open its doors and welcome everyone in to see the exhibitions and find out about the history of this remarkable building and its founders.

By Dominic Collis
Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 11:00 am

The initiative is a Nelson Town Council project, and thanks to funding from the National Lottery, and the help of volunteers and students from UCLan and Nelson and Colne College, the Unity building in Vernon Street can now tell its story through exhibitions and a booklet.

Selina Cooper was an English suffragist and the first woman to represent the Independent Labour Party in 1901 when she was elected as a Poor Law Guardian.

The heritage project, funded by a £50,000 National Lottery Heritage grant, also highlights the history relating to the Unity Wellbeing Centre in Nelson which was for many years a centre for the Independent Labour Party.

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New information board

After the launch the public will be able to access the building on Thursdays and Fridays. Please contact Gary Webb 07767336933 to arrange a guided visit or email [email protected] or alternatively, contact the Nelson Town Council office on 07735 350735 or via email at [email protected]

There will be prizes for the best art work and written work produced by young people in response to the exhibitions. Age categories: under 11, 11-14, 14-18, 18-21.

In 1901, Cooper was elected to the Board of Guardians, as a joint SDF-ILP candidate. However, she became frustrated with the SDF's lack of interest in the suffrage movement, and moved away from the party, becoming a full-time organiser for the suffrage movement.

In 1910 she was chosen to be one of four women to present the case for women's suffrage to H. H. Asquith, the then Prime Minister.

A wall dedicated to the life and work of Selina Cooper