Cambridge Museum reaches fundraising landmark, helping to stave off closure

The Museum of Cambridge has successfully reached the halfway point in its fundraising appeal, raising just over £25,000 of the £50,000 target in just over two months.

The fundraising campaign was launched in November last year after the Covid-19 pandemic left the Museum in acute risk of having to close for good due to reduced income from ticket sales and venue hire.

This is the first time the Museum of Cambridge has organised a public fundraising campaign like this. The aim is to raise enough money to tide the Museum over until it can reopen to visitors again – hopefully this spring. It costs around £200,000 a year to keep the Grade II listed building running and maintain its collections.

Staff and Trustees have been blown away at the positive response. Hundreds of people from Cambridge and around the world have donate to the Museum. Annie Davis, Museum Development Manager, said:

‘The support we’ve had from people in Cambridge and further afield has been really encouraging. Although this is such a difficult time for everyone, it’s been amazing to see people rally round and help the Museum survive.’

Matt Hann, Fundraising Trustee, said:

‘We’ve never launched a fundraising campaign like this before, but the impact of Covid-19 meant we simply had to take action and ask for people’s help. It’s fantastic to have reached the halfway point already. Although there’s still a long way to go, we’re hugely optimistic we’ll now raise enough to secure the Museum’s future.’

The Museum has also been encouraged in its endeavours by neighbours Kettle’s Yard.

Andrew Nairne OBE, Director of Kettle’s Yard, said:

‘We love being neighbours with the Museum of Cambridge, they are a vital part of the cultural eco-system of Cambridge. We really value the exploration of the different stories and histories of the people of Cambridgeshire that are uncovered in the Museum of Cambridge.  There is nowhere else where you can find out so much about the history of everyday life in Cambridge. Please help this special place to secure its future.’

The fundraising campaign has been a huge team effort, with the Museum being supported by over 50 volunteers, who do everything from greeting visitors at Front of House, to caring for the collection and running the social media channels.  Throughout the campaign, the volunteers have been cheering the Museum on from home. Front of House volunteer, Tricia McBride, said:

‘I’ve been volunteering at The Museum of Cambridge for several years now. The wonderful thing about our Museum is that everyone seems to have a favourite item. Mine is the apple peeler that looks like a sewing machine!

If you can donate to the Museum’s appeal, you’ll help to ensure that the building and the amazing collection are available for visitors in years to come. Do help if you can.’

Although the Museum has been closed to visitors during lockdown, work behind the scenes continues regardless. The Museum has made resources available to local families, including a ‘create your own collection’ activity, all available free of charge on the Museum’s website.

The Museum has also launched a regular series of online events, ‘Cambridge Talks’, featuring engaging talks from experts on the city’s fascinating local history.

Two exhibitions have been transferred from the Museum’s galleries to the website so that the people of Cambridge can enjoy them online from the comfort of their own home. ‘The Allen We Knew’ celebrates the life of Allen Brigham, former trustee at the Museum of Cambridge and eminent local historian of Cambridge. ‘The Things We See’ explores the favourite objects of our team of volunteers and trustees.

Cambridge Museum reaches fundraising landmark, helping to stave off closure