Help build a museum fit for the future

Director Bill Griffiths with MK South MP Iain Stewart
Director Bill Griffiths with MK South MP Iain Stewart

Milton Keynes Museum has launched a campaign to raise the £500,000 needed to ensure its expansion delivers ‘the best museum in the country’.

Last year the museum and MK Council announced they had jointly received Heritage Lottery funding to create two exciting new galleries that will complete the city’s story from pre-history through to the present time, a new collections store and other site improvements.

Plans are now well-advanced, but to do justice to the modern Milton Keynes story – from planning and pioneers through to the reality of homes, business, education, transport, city centre, sports, culture, leisure and ‘the people’s story’, will cost an additional £500,000.

A host of local businesses attended the launch of the museum’s fundraising campaign to learn how they – and others – can get involved as patrons .

There are also opportunities for local companies and individuals to sponsor individual areas of the existing site, which will be enhanced as part of the expansion project. They include the popular street of shops, hall of transport, print room, connected earth gallery and the current reception building, which will be turned into an education centre.

The museum is also launching a members’ programme enabling individual supporters to become involved in creating both a fascinating record of the area’s past and a legacy for future generations.

Museum director Bill Griffiths explained: “It is the passion and spirit of local people that built and has brought the museum this far. Now we hope Milton Keynes will get behind us to help us build a museum that is the best museum in the country.”

Paul Sanders, assistant director for community facilities and project sponsor at Milton Keynes Council added: “There are so many superb stories here to tell, from our rich archaeology and the discovery of the UK’s largest Bronze Age roundhouse at Bancroft, through to the visionaries who planned a new city unlike anything before. “

Among partners already involved with the project are Marshall Amplification, Red Bull, Niftylift, The Parks Trust, MK Dons and the Open University as well as the museum’s heritage partners, Living Archive and the City Discovery Centre.

If stage 2 funding is secured later this year, building will start in 2016, with opening of the new galleries planned for spring 2018, attracting at least 50,000 visitors a year.

The emphasis throughout will be interactivity, allowing visitors to really experience the lives of our ancestors.

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