Museum reopens with an appeal for volunteers to help secure its future

Exmouth Museum

Exmouth Museum has reopened - Credit: Exmouth Museum

Exmouth Museum has reopened after lockdown restrictions were eased  – and now its trustees can focus their efforts on generating the funds to repay the loan that enabled them to buy their premises.
As reported in the Journal in March, the future of the museum was secured for the long term after trustees announced they had completed the £150,000 purchase of the Sheppards Row buildings from landlords South West Water. 
The completion of the transaction means artefacts which represent the history of Exmouth can continue to be displayed now the museum is open again. 
Chairman of the trustees of Exmouth Museum Peter Cowper said at the time of the purchase that he was ‘delighted and relieved’ to say that the facility ‘has a future’. 
He added: “It is now up to us to make it work.” 
The museum has called the building – which was previously a stable and a cottage – home since the 1980s. 
Carole Evershed, secretary of the Exmouth Museum management committee, said this week: “As you know we have purchased the museum building but we still need to raise funds for the repayment of the loan so are looking to generate as much publicity as possible.
“We are also looking for people who may be able to help with fundraising, stewarding and many other tasks that are to be done on an ongoing basis.”
In 2017, South West Water announced its intention to sell off the buildings, casting doubt of the future of the museum. 
Trustees launched a fundraising campaign to meet the £150,000 price tag and generated £70,000. The other £80,000 came from a loan organised by East Devon District Council. 
South West Water confirmed the sale was completed on Friday, March 12. 
A spokesman for the company said at the time: “We’re pleased that our close and constructive liaison with the Trustees has had a happy outcome.” 
Trustees are now looking for people to join the museum as volunteers, especially those who have expertise in displays, fundraising, research, working at outdoor events and building skills. 
Mr Cowper added: “It’s going to be a lot of hard work (running the museum) which is why I am hoping to get young people volunteering. 
“That’s important to keep thing going because we can’t operate a museum in the way it used to be. 
“You’re going to see an awful lot more digital displays and this museum doesn’t even have a phone line.” 

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