Your Museum needs you - support plea from Exmouth museum trustee

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 February 2018

Exmouth Museum. Ref exe 39 17TI 1498. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth Museum. Ref exe 39 17TI 1498. Picture: Terry Ife

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A trustee from Exmouth Museum has been briefing town councillors on what is needed to keep it in its 35-year home.

Exmouth needs to show its support for the town’s museum if the funding required to save it is to be found.

That is the stark warning of Museum Society of Exmouth trustee Peter Cowper, who was speaking at a town council meeting.

The museum trust has been given the opportunity to buy its Sheppards Row home from landowners South West Water for around £130,000.

Mr Cowper has been briefing the town council on the progress of the funding bid.

He said: “To buy these buildings we’re going to have to make applications to major funding organisations.

“These are difficult applications to make and showing that the museum has strong local support will be crucial.

“We also want to ask people how the museum should function if it were to continue for another 35 years.

“These organisations will want to know that we have a plan for the future.”

The museum is looking to raise a total of £200,000 – the extra £70,000 would allow them to make necessary improvements to the buildings and create a new reception area.

Last month the Journal reported that artefacts of Exmouth’s heritage could end up being dumped in the future if the funding cannot be found.

Currently the museum holds documents and photos from Exmouth’s past, as well as items such as the original mechanism from the seafront clock tower.

If the Museum Society of Exmouth cannot buy the building, the land could go on the open market leaving the site susceptible to developers and the museum without a home.

At this week’s town council meeting, councillors gave their ideas on different ways the museum could raise the required cash.

It was suggested that the society could apply to Devon County Council and East Devon District Council for funding, as well as the Tesco Bag for Life scheme.

Mr Cowper said the museum would be taking these ideas on board.

The society is organising an exhibition day today (Thursday) at Ocean, in The Esplanade, to raise awareness of its fund-raising campaign and give people a chance to see what the museum has.

The exhibition will be taking place between 10am and 6pm.

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