On 1st April 2006 Friends of Athelstan Museum took over the museum from North Wiltshire District Council (NWDC) and since that time the visitor numbers have increased ten fold.
In 2007, due to alterations in Malmesbury Town Hall, the museum found itself in the exciting but difficult position of taking on a fifteen year lease and moving premises within the Town Hall. This demanded a complete refurbishment for our new shell accommodation.
After much hard work we acquired and moved into temporary accommodation some 50 yards or so from the Town Hall on the 31st August 2007 which allowed us to maintain a presence while our museum and also our special exhibitions continued. Also at this time we took over the collection from NWDC.
In June 2007 we launched an appeal for £288,000, the final capital cost was around £350,000.
We were delighted with the money we raised: £199,000 Heritage Lottery Fund, £10,000 North Wiltshire District Council, £32,000 The Jack Lane Trust, Henry Hoare Trust, Friends of Malmesbury Abbey, Malmesbury Community Trust, Malmesbury Carnival Fund, Local businesses, £31,500 local direct mailing appeals, membership, general donations, sales, Fund raising events, £7,500 voluntary labour, a total of approximately £280,000. Since then the Museum has raised a further £70,000 in Donations, Membership, In Memoriam, Gift Aid, and Landfill Grants bringing us to a grand total of £350,000. The museum no longer has any capital debts.
However, it costs an estimated £24,000 per annum to operate the museum and we receive no national or local government funding. We are reluctant to make an entry charge for those visiting the museum.
Ways to help
There are a number of ways you can help us to meet our running costs and these are very easy and simple: