The Friends of Beamish have generously donated £225,000 to the Beamish Museum, bringing their total contributions to an impressive £ 2.1 million.
This latest donation comes from both the Friends of Beamish and Business Friends of Beamish and will be allocated to the ongoing Remaking Beamish initiative. The project features the development of a 1950s Town and Farm, as well as an expansion of the Georgian Landscape.
Since their establishment in 1968, the Friends have offered unwavering support to a variety of projects at the museum. This includes contributions to the restoration of Hetton Band Hall, St. Helen’s Church, and the tile work of Davy’s fish and chip shop.
Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish Museum’s Chief Executive, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Friends of Beamish members for their amazing support for the museum.
“To have donated more than £2.1million to the museum over the past 55 years, as well as the time given by Friends’ volunteers, is truly remarkable and we are extremely thankful – Beamish wouldn’t be where it is today without them.
“Their latest donation will go towards the completion of our Remaking Beamish project, the biggest development in the museum’s history.
“We thank everyone who has joined the Friends of Beamish and Business Friends of Beamish. Not only does the membership offer a range of great benefits, by joining you are supporting the museum’s work in preserving our region’s heritage for future generations. A huge thank you!”
Among the other projects and activities supported by the Friends are the Northern General Transport Bus Depot, the purchasing of vehicles and objects, and funding restoration work.
The Friends help the museum in a range of ways, and some members volunteer their time, including workshop projects and wearing costume in exhibits and at events.
Ian Bean, Projects Director of the Friends of Beamish, said: “There is a saying that to give is better than to receive. This is undoubtedly true, especially when the gift is being given to a very worthy cause you believe in passionately.
“Thanks to the generosity and constant, continued support of the Friends of Beamish membership, we have been able to donate a further £225,000 to assist with the Remaking Beamish project. It should be with a sense of pride that Friends view the progress being made, safe in the knowledge that their contribution has made a positive difference.
“If you include our spending on projects’ materials for the museum, our total donations to Beamish, since the Friends was established in 1968, amounts to £2,148,802. Coupled to the many hours of volunteer effort contributed, this is a fantastic achievement.
“Your support has allowed us to acquire clocks, paintings, cars, motorcycles, books and a positive cornucopia of other items identified by Beamish as vital for its purpose, telling the history of the North East in an educational, accessible, and above all, entertaining manner.”
The Remaking Beamish project is the biggest development in the museum’s history, and includes a 1950s Town, 1950s Spain’s Field Farm and expansion of the Georgian Landscape, including self-catering accommodation, a Drovers’ Tavern, pottery and toll house.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Remaking Beamish project was awarded £10.9million by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2016.
Friends of Beamish memberships, which include individual, concessionary and family memberships, offer a range of benefits, including free museum entry (during usual daytime opening), discount in catering and retail outlets, free magazine, discounted guidebook and invitations to monthly talks (terms and conditions apply).
The Business Friends of Beamish scheme is an opportunity for organisations of all sizes to support the museum, with benefits including corporate passes, events and discounts.
Find out more about joining the Friends of Beamish at www.beamish.org.uk.