A rally call to save Ely museum

PUBLISHED: 12:52 12 July 2018

This is what the downstairs exhibition gallery of Ely Museum could look like.

This is what the downstairs exhibition gallery of Ely Museum could look like.

Archant

Ely Museum says it is undertaking an ambitious project of improvement to save it from closure as the displays are shabby and outdated.

This is how Ely Museum might tell the story of the building's history as the Bishop's Gaol This is how Ely Museum might tell the story of the building's history as the Bishop's Gaol

A fund raising campaign has been launched to bring in £100,000 needed to unlock a £1.67 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help turn the museum into a venue to make East Cambridgeshire proud.

A spokesman said: “Our museum is currently unfit for purpose. The displays have become shabby and outdated. The way objects are displayed does not do justice to the many remarkable items and stories in our collection.

“The museum’s store is too small and is bursting at the seams. As a result, we cannot collect any new items. This means that important pieces of Ely’s heritage could be lost forever.

“There is no lift to reach the upper floor. This means that over half of our exhibitions are inaccessible to visitors with mobility impairments, or families with pushchairs. Our toilets are insufficient for group visits and schools.

This could be the view into Ely Museum through the window from the courtyard. This could be the view into Ely Museum through the window from the courtyard.

“Our essential systems and facilities are at the end of their lives. If they fail we will have to close the museum.”

Now they are upping their game with a bid to raise thousands to save the museum.

“Help us create an amazing space to explore our history, welcome visitors and school groups and hold fun events.

“We have fantastic plans. However, to make these plans a reality we still need to raise over £100,000 to unlock a £1.67 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“Your support is essential for making this happen.

“While we are confident we can secure some funding from national grant-making bodies, the success of this project will only be possible with the financial support of the people of Ely.”

Among improvements are redesigned galleries, refreshed displays, new exhibition spaces, an extension for a new education room, a lift to ensure all visitors can be inspired, new lighting and fire prevention equipment.

It is also hoped to create a new store area.

• To donate securely online visit www.elymuseum.org.uk/support-us/support-us/

• Ely Museum’s opening hours are Mon-Sat 10.30am – 5.00pm, Sun 1-5pm.

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