Excitement builds as museum gets ‘permission to start’ its transformation project

Excitement builds as museum gets ‘permission to start’ its transformation project - The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

By: Mair Smith
Added: 05 July 2017

The dreams of the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon (MBND) team will soon become reality, as all the funding is now in place and its extension project can begin!

At a meeting of North Devon Council’s Executive today (Monday 3 July), councillors greeted news that the final piece of the funding jigsaw is now in place and the Heritage Lottery Fund has given the museum “permission to start” its £1.8m project to extend the Long Bridge side of the building thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

Prior to the meeting, the museum received good news from the Arts Council, which has allocated £37,000 of funding from its “Ready to Borrow” programme towards the extension. The MBND Development Trust has been fundraising and applying for grants, and has now secured £187,300 towards the project.

The project is being funded by:

  • £868,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund
  • £500,000 from Coastal Communities Fund
  • £250,000 from North Devon Council
  • 37,000 from Arts Council
  • £205,100 from MBND Development Trust (through grants and fundraising, including £50,000 Fullabrook CIC, £75,000 from Garfield Weston Foundation, £25,000 from the Foyle Foundation, £5,000 from project patrons Brend Hotels and Philip Milton & Co. Further sponsorship from Roundswell Spar, South West Archaeology, Bray Leino and Lewis & Sons Removals. Fundraising supporters, Barnstaple and District Round Table, Barnstaple Rotary Club and The Old Barn Inn at Bickington. As well as many other businesses, groups and individuals).

North Devon Council Executive Member responsible for culture, Councillor Dick Jones says: “This is absolutely brilliant news. Well done to the museum staff, volunteers and the Museum Development Trust for working so hard to push this project forward. Getting funding for a project like this is a really complicated process and the team should be very proud of what they have achieved. I would like to thank all the organisations, corporate sponsors and members of the public for their support.”

Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, Nerys Watts, says: “For nearly 130 years, this museum has been open to the public, telling the story of North Devon – from arts and manufacture to social history and ordinary moments captured on film.

“Now, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the museum has taken another crucial step towards transforming the way people can access their heritage, with an outreach programme and the creation of space for community activities set to make the museum an even more valuable part of North Devon life.”

The MBND Trust is just 6,000 short of its £205,100 funding target, however this will not hold the project up, as it plans to underwrite the amount and to continue fundraising.

If you would like to support the project, you can still donate online at mbndtrust.org. For more information about corporate sponsorship contact the museum on 01271 346747 or email museum@northdevon.gov.uk.