THE FUTURE OF a leading Moray museum is looking a great deal brighter this morning as it revealed three mystery benefactors had stepped forward to save it from possible closure.
There was widespread condemnation of a Moray Council decision to deny a funding package of almost £45,000 to the Elgin Museum – on the same day that £60,000 was agreed to conduct a parking survey in Moray’s main town.
However, three local residents were so moved by the plight the museum faced that they have clubbed together to cover the financial setback – a donation that has left the Museum operators, the Moray Society, “staggered”.
Society president is Grenville Johnston, who said that he was “overwhelmed” by the generous donation from three anonymous supporters. He added: “They told me that they felt Elgin Museum represented a very important part of tourism in Moray. The letter highlighted our archive and our volunteer’s knowledge of the area’s history.”
The cash boost will allow the Museum to continue – but there was also a warning that it was not the end of the battle the venue faced. The Moray Society had asked for Council support over three years to allow them to undertake changes that would secure the Museum’s long-term viability – but at a meeting in December, members of the economic development and infrastructure committee rejected their bid.
One Councillor who supported the Museum’s bid was Fochabers/Lhanbryde member Douglas Ross – although he could not vote on the issue. He said: “I am delighted to hear of this generous donation that will ensure Moray Society’s great work can continue.”
During a visit to the Museum yesterday, Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead said that he hoped the Council might in future identify funds to support the venue in the future: “We are lucky to have this beautiful building which tells lots of amazing stories about Moray’s past.”