Selina Cooper Project

In 2019, Nelson Town Council and volunteers Kevin and Gary Webb, applied for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to celebrate the work of local suffragist and founder member of the Independent Labour Party, Selina Cooper. From the age of 13 Selina worked in the mills, and became part of the struggle for workers rights and representation, health care and education. She worked locally, nationally and internationally.

Nelson ILP Socialist Institute Building

ILP Building


In 1907 Selina and other members of the Independent Labour Party raised the funds to buy land on Vernon Street and build a Socialist Institute, a place for meetings, lectures, entertainment and education, with a lecture hall, reading room, meeting rooms, kitchen, bath and assembly room. The building was full every night of the week.

Selina Cooper

Selina Cooper

What has Been Done

Installing Stained Glass Windows
Gary Loftus of Brierfield was able to re create the original stained glass windows.

Reading Room
We recreated the Reading Room with a supply of relevant books and an archive.

Selina Cooper Wall

A big display celebrating the life of Selina Cooper has been installed in the Selina Cooper Hall. Designed by Max Bretherton.

A display telling the history of the Socialist Institute has been installed in the café. Designed by Camilla Statham.

Displays printed by Textstyles.

A leaflet is available, telling the history of the Hall.

Please click this link to access the online resources page for schools and colleges. 

A series of heritage workshops were offered to schools and colleges.

A book was produced with the help of UCLAN students detailing the history of Unity Hall. It is free and copies are available from the Nelson Town Council office in Nelson Town Hall 01282 697079

A Friends group was formed to look after the future of the hall and the heritage.

A Facebook page has been created which will gradually be filled with documents and videos relating to the project.

Contact Details

Project facilitator Charlotte Bill

Friends Group




The location for the Unity Wellbeing Centre is shown on the map below. For Sat Nav users, the address is Vernon Street, Nelson, Post code BB9 9DE.