“Exmouth’s museum faces a race against time to raise £200,000 if it is to secure the town’s heritage.
If the six-figure sum cannot be raised, the museum’s Sheppards Row home could be sold on the open market and the town may lose some of its historic artefacts, such as the original mechanism from the seafront clock tower.
Landowner South West Water (SWW) is looking to sell the Victorian building after the museum’s lease expired at the end of 2017.
The Museum Society of Exmouth has been told it needs to raise at least £130,000 to buy the building, but has set its sights on £200,000 to allow them to undertake ‘much needed’ renovation works.
Brian Leader, steward organiser at the museum, has warned that if the money isn’t found, the artefacts could either be transported to other museums out of town or may even have to be ‘dumped’.
He said: “The museum contains a unique collection of artefacts and documents dating back hundreds of years to the present day – to lose this would be unthinkable.
“If we were not able to raise the funds, we would probably have to distribute the artefacts to other museums.
“The town would definitely lose them and they could be dumped because we haven’t got anywhere to store them.
“We’re pushing for £200,000 because we need to do a lot of work to it. …”