Farnham town councillor pledges £500 towards vital museum repairs

By Daniel Gee   |   Head of Content   |
Wednesday 28th September 2022 6:00 am
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The Museum of Farnham’s Grade I-listed building, Willmer House, West Street
The Museum of Farnham’s Grade I-listed building, Willmer House, West Street (Tindle )

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A Farnham town councillor and his wife have pledged £500 towards vital repairs to the Museum of Farnham’s Grade I-listed building, Willmer House in West Street.

Waverley Borough Council is expected to bid for £638,553 from the Arts Council’s Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND) later this month towards the restoration of the 300-year-old building’s facade.

But even if successful in its bid, this will leave the council a shortfall of £200,000 to make up, with Waverley hoping to secure “partnership funding from external sources” before dipping into its own budgets to meet this sum.

Farnham Town Council reaffirmed its pledge to contribute £10,000 in August. But with the scaffolding having already been erected at the museum for over four years, nearby residents George and Yolande Hesse are reaching the end of their tether.

In desperation, George – a Farnham Residents town councillor – and his wife, herself a retired architectural designer, have put their hands in their own pockets, pledging £500 towards the repairs.

They are now hoping to launch a crowdfunding appeal to help chip away at the potential £200,000 shortfall.

In an update to Waverley’s executive on September 6, council papers described the MEND bid “a positive step forward for the museum”, and added contractors and consultants will be “competitively tendered” once the outcome of its bid is known.

The papers added the council would then have “an opportunity to make a final decision as to whether to proceed based on a calculation of all known risks and costs”.

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