"Exmouth will regret losing its museum" - pressure on fundraising campaign continues to grow

PUBLISHED: 15:27 15 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:47 18 February 2019

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

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

Archant

Exmouth's museum - which hold a treasure trove of memories - could be lost unless £160,000 is raised in just seven months.

That’s the warning from its committee, which is desperately fundraising to purchase the Victorian-era building from South West Water.

With just seven months to go, the pressure is on more than ever for the committee, which has raised £40,000 in only a year of fundraising efforts.

Around £200,000 is needed for the purchase and upgrading of the building. Landowner South West Water are looking to sell the museum in Sheppards Row after its lease expired in 2017.

Committee member Tricia Cassel-Gerard said: “Exmouth Museum is about the town and its memories - you can’t Google them. It’s a personal place, full of personal belongings and memories.

“Exmouth needs its museum to hold its memories for it.”

Ms Cassel-Gerard said the money raised so far is a result of the hard work of the museum’s committee members and trustees.

Several charitable events have been held since the campaign was launched in February last year.

Ms Cassel-Gerard said: “We are open to any charity events that any local business wants to put on to support us - we are waiting for their call.

“We are very pleased with the progress so far, but it’s scary knowing how far we still have to go, especially as South West Water extended our fundraising deadline to this September.

“Originally, the deadline was December last year.

“The extension does not feel long enough for me. What happens to the museum is the big question. Technically, it could be sold to someone else.

“We are treating it as if we do not raise the money, we will have to move out - but I do think there is still a long way to go.

“We are working incredibly hard to do what we need to do.

“This is the be all or end all - I do think the town will regret it if we lose the museum.”

Exmouth Museum was first opened in 1985 and is housed in a building formerly used as council stables with a foreman’s cottage.

South West Water previously said the building, one of many the company has owned in Shepherds Row, was ‘surplus to requirements’.

To support the museum’s fundraising campaign, email exmouthmuseum@gmail.com.

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