Museum is to raid Marks & Spencer in cost cutting bid

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MARKS & Spencer is to help Grantham Museum by allowing volunteers to strip the store of fittings when the shop closes next month.

Grantham Community Heritage Association has been told it can take over the museum next year after the county council withdraws funding at the end of March, 2011.

But with no guaranteed funding yet secure, Grantham CHA is looking at every conceivable way of saving money - including raiding Marks & Spencer.

Alastair Hawken of Grantham CHA contacted Marks & Spencer to ask if the museum can have any fittings left over when the High Street store closes next month, for use in the new museum shop.

He said: “Marks & Spencer said they are quite willing to donate anything we need for the retail shop. When they close we can effectively go in and take what we like.”

Grantham CHA is ready to take over the museum but funding must be found to secure long-term survival.

One method the association has identified is a “Friends of Grantham Museum” scheme. People would pay around £10 per year which would entitle them to perks such as invitations to preview exhibitions

Corporate membership could also be offered to raise funds.

Grantham CHA is also hopeful of securing a “peppercorn” or token rent for the museum building from the district council - similar to that enjoyed previously by the county council.