AIM Biffa Award to support new exhibition areas at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

18th October 2021
in news

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is delighted to announce that they have secured just over £39,000 of funding from AIM Biffa Award, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund, which will fund a new exhibition to show how Elizabeth Gaskell’s work is still relevant in the 21st Century.

Thanks to funding through the AIM Biffa Award History Makers programme, this new Amazon’s of Ardwick project will show how the Victorian writer and her daughters influenced social and cultural change nationally and internationally.  Themes explored and discussed by Elizabeth in her novels and short stories are still relevant and under discussion today, including education and welfare for the poor, minimum wages, working conditions and the treatment of women. This exciting project will bring these stories to life through film, digital interpretation and new exhibition areas throughout the House. 

Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd, House Manager at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House says: ‘Although lesser known today than some of her contemporaries, Elizabeth’s first novel Mary Barton, published in 1848, had a great impact on the reading public and was widely reviewed and discussed. Its subject matter, the appalling state of the poor in the Manchester area, is said to have awakened the conscience of the nation.

We also know that Elizabeth and her daughters jointly supported Lancashire cotton workers during the Cotton Famine of 1861-1865 and, as abolitionists, supported the mill workers, who at great personal sacrifice, took a principled stand by refusing to touch raw cotton picked by US slaves. Elizabeth and her daughters initiated a type of food bank to be set up for workers, sourced a fresh milk supply for children and led sewing classes for the women and girls affected.  

Elizabeth Gaskell was a History Maker. Her legacy needs to be shared more widely and we hope this AIM Biffa Award funded project will help us to achieve this.’

Lisa Ollerhead, AIM Director, said, ‘We’re so pleased to be able to fund this fascinating project and to have Elizabeth Gaskell join the AIM Biffa Award History Makers; a collective of projects that use the life and achievements of extraordinary historical figures to inspire and educate visitors and users today.’

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager, adds: ‘It is a privilege to be able to support this project telling the story of Elizabeth Gaskell, a hugely influential Victorian woman, and her family in new and exciting ways. It is amazing to think that the issues that faced women like Elizabeth in the 1800s are still relevant today in the 2000s. We can’t wait to see the new exhibition, funded through the AIM Biffa Award History Makers’ programme, when it is completed.’

The new exhibition area will be unveiled in the summer of 2022. This follows the successful opening of Elizabeth’s bedroom and the new exhibition A Love Affair with Cranford in 2021.


About Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is a Grade II* listed property that was built around 1835-1841 and is a rare surviving example of a suburban villa. The Manchester author lived in the House with her family from 1850 until her death in 1865. Her two daughters lived at the House until 1913. 

The Manchester Historic Buildings Trust was established in 1998 with the primary aim of saving Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. The House opened to the public in October 2014 with support and funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund and other charitable trusts.

The House is open to the public every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 11:00am to 4:30pm and for private tours, room hire, events and weddings on all days.

Ticket prices: Adults £6.50, Children under 16 free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets valid for re-entry for 12 months

84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW

Twitter: @GaskellsHouse

Facebook: Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Private Tours by special arrangement – £13 per person (includes tour, tea/coffee and cake)

The House is available for weddings and room hire on all days. 

Biffa Award:

Since 1997, Biffa Award has awarded grants totalling more than £180 million to thousands of worthwhile community and environmental projects across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The programme administers money donated by Biffa Group Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Landfill Communities Fund:

The Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) is an innovative tax credit scheme enabling operators (LOs) to contribute money to organisations enrolled with ENTRUST as Environmental Bodies (EBs). EBs use this funding for a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of landfill sites. LOs are able to claim a credit (currently 4.2%) against their landfill tax liability for 90% of the contributions they make. Since its inception in 1996, over £1.6 billion has been spent on more than 56,000 projects across the UK. For further information please visit or see HMRC’s general guide to landfill tax.

AIM Biffa Award History Makers:

Through the Association of Independent Museums (AIM), Biffa Award gives grants to museums, galleries and cultural facilities so that they can tell the stories of some of our lesser known historical figures through the History Makers Scheme.

AIM is a national charitable organisation which helps independent and independently spirited museums, galleries and heritage sites prosper by connecting, supporting and representing them.

The interruptions of home life are never ending

Elizabeth Gaskell 1863