Haslemere Museum raises £1.3m

Museum Chairman, Melanie Odell with trustees and the leather bound Benefactors Book
Museum Chairman, Melanie Odell with trustees and the leather bound Benefactors Book

Haslemere’s ‘Museum in a Million’ appeal launched in 2013 has now raised £1.3m.

More than 220 guests attended an evening reception in 2013 where patron Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone outlined the aim of the appeal in the museum’s 125th anniversary year which was to create an endowment fund of at least £1m to ensure the museum’s independence and survival for future generations.

The campaign was supported by individual donations and bequests by benefactors, as well as a range of fundraising events to appeal to the museum’s variety of visitors.

The events included talks, demonstrations, tennis, golf, afternoon tea and bridge, a classic car day, branded goods and auctions.

The names of those who have contributed to the ‘museum in a Million’ appeal have been recorded in a leather-bound ‘Benefactors Book’ which will be treasured as a piece of the Museum’s history.

Julia Tanner, museum curator said: “In 2015 we hosted a celebratory event to mark the mid-way point of the appeal and patrons including Sir Vernon Ellis, Philip Jackson and MP for South West Surrey and secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt turned out in force to support us. At that stage, we had almost reached our target which is a fantastic achievement.”

“In the final year of fundraising, the museum has now raised a staggering £1.3 million exceeding our target which is complete testimony to the generosity of many supporters. This vital fund will now help pay for the day to day running costs and to keep it at the forefront as a centre of excellence for another 125 years.”

Melanie Odell, chairman, added: “The museum is most fortunate to have the support of so many for the ‘Museum in a Million’ campaign and we are delighted to have reached our goal of more than £1,000,000. As an independent museum, the endowment fund will help us bridge the financial gap between income and expenditure and ensure that the museum may be enjoyed by future generations. Our Benefactors Book is full of donors both local and from further afield and we would like to thank all those who contributed to this essential fund.”

Although the fundraising campaign has closed, the museum still needs support. As an independent registered charity, it is responsible for raising all its own funds and relies entirely on donations, bequests, sponsorship, and hire fees to keep going. Museum membership is an opportunity for people to engage with and directly support the museum while enjoying exclusive benefits. The scheme gives people and businesses the opportunity to get behind-the-scenes and discover more, generous discounts on family workshops and events, 10 per cent discount in the museum shop and much more.

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