Kidderminster's Museum of Carpet future is secured - but fundraising campaign continues

Donations have flooded in the help save the UK's only museum dedicated to carpet from closure.

Kidderminster's Museum of Carpet housed in the former Stour Vale Mill
Kidderminster's Museum of Carpet housed in the former Stour Vale Mill

A crowdfunding campaign in aid of Kidderminster's Museum of Carpet was set up after it was forced to close its doors and suspend all exhibitions and bookings due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters, trustees said the attraction is out of immediate danger after their original fundraising target of £8,000 was exceeded.

They have received more than 200 pledges from individuals, business and groups with many of these coming from people with relatives who worked in the carpet industry in Kidderminster and the surrounding district. The total amount donated currently stands at more than £9,200.

With the lockdown on museums and galleries likely to extend into July, trustees have begun to consider the wider implications and the adjustments they will need to make on reopening.

They have decided to keep the campaign running until June 10 with a revised target of £12,000.

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The Museum of Carpet, which opened in 2012, does not receive any funding from local or central government and relies on the money it receives from admission fees, events, room hires and its shop.

When they first launched the appeal, trustees said the loss of income posed "a real threat to the survival of the museum".

But now thanks to the donations that have been received so far, they say the museum's immediate future has been secured.

Trustee Vicky Bagnall said: "We have been overwhelmed by the amazing response to this campaign and would like to thank everyone who has donated so far. The response shows that there is huge support for the museum which showcases Kidderminster’s industrial and social heritage, and for a gallery space for the community.

"If you have not yet made your donation, it is not too late to do so, and you will be helping to ensure that this local gem has a secure future”.

Since the museum first opened, staff and volunteers have been working hard to share 300 years of history.

Displays and artefacts also give an insight into the lives of the people who worked on the looms and the entrepreneurs who developed businesses, known throughout the world.

The museum also features a major centre-piece of two working power looms - an Axminster spool loom and an early 20th century Wilton Jacquard loom - as well as hand looms operated by volunteers.

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