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In contrast to Wiltshire Council’s refusal to extend support for the Wiltshire Heritage Museum by  a modest £25,000 a year (a five thousandth of the Council’s budget) on the grounds it got the impression that “nobody was saying put more money into museums” the museum has been given a huge national vote of confidence from elsewhere in the form of a £370,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It will pay for a new Prehistoric gallery that will enable Wiltshire’s unique gold and amber finds dating back to the Bronze Age to be displayed for the first time in generations. The new facilities will form part of an integrated “Stonehenge Museums Partnership” (along with the English Heritage Visitors Centre and the Salisbury Museum) “to tell the story of the people who built and used the world renowned monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury” – and of course to bring huge amounts of tourist pounds and dollars to the County.

Keep in mind the grant is for new galleries not annual running costs. The future of the museum still remains uncertain as a result of Wiltshire Council’s budgetary choices. If you’d like to point out to them their decision has just been made to look massively inappropriate as well as economically foolish you can contact Councillor Alan Macrae, portfolio holder for Libraries, Heritage and Culture via  alan.macrae@wiltshire.gov.uk and Jane Scott, leader of the Council via jane.scott@wiltshire.gov.uk

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