The new Development Appeal has been set up to raise money for a purpose-built facility in the centre of Dorchester to store the Museum’s extensive collections and provide working areas for volunteers and visiting researchers. In addition, the project will include a bespoke education and lecture room for use by both schools and the local community.
Individuals wishing to support the scheme have the opportunity to buy a personalised plaque which will be placed in prime position on the Museum’s dramatic staircase. They will also receive free entry to the Museum for a year and their name will be added to the development appeal donation register. The cost of a plaque is £100.
The first plaque was bought by Museum advocate Paul Atterbury from the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. Paul has recently become a trustee at the Museum and wanted to show his support for the project. His plaque has been named in memory of his great uncle Lewis who died during the Battle of the Somme.
Museum director Jon Murden said, “We are hoping for a good response to this new appeal – the money raised will be used to kick-start the project and we will then be seeking financial support from major trusts and fundraising bodies like the Heritage Lottery Fund.“
Further fundraising events are planned for next year. Jon added, “We want to get local people involved because the project will include new galleries and archives which will be accessible to the public. Ultimately everyone will benefit because we will be able to display many more objects from our unique collections.“
Anyone wishing to support the campaign by buying a plaque should contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or see the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org.