Colchester Museums Development Foundation turns two

PUBLISHED: 5 September 2023

Colchester Museums Development Foundation (CMDF) is celebrating a wonderful two years of work with the Colchester community. Launched in August 2021, the Foundation exists to inspire and enrich Colchester’s communities through the preservation, exploration and sharing of Britain’s First City’s rich heritage and history.

Since its inception nearly £60,000 has been raised in support of access, inclusion, the preservation of Colchester Museums’ collections and community engagement. Through the support of trusts, foundations, members, donors and object adopters, and guided by a dynamic board of trustees with deep roots in the local community, CMDF has helped Colchester Museums to achieve the following in such a short period of time.
  • Develop a new programme tackling loneliness through its collections.
  • Enhance access through audio-described tours at Colchester Castle, sensory objects, and BSL interpreters at selected events.
  • Undertake community consultation in the lead up to the redevelopment of Colchester’s much-loved Natural History Museum.
  • Research and develop blockbuster exhibition Wicked Spirits? Witchcraft + Magic at Colchester Castle.
  • Raise funds for vital repairs to its historic buildings and care of its unique collections.
  • Re-launch popular schools' programmes at Hollytrees Museum post-Covid.
  • Digitise objects in Colchester Museums’ collections to make them accessible to all.
  • Create a new interactive Ballista attraction at Colchester Castle.
This amazing work relies on the generosity of individuals, members, sponsors, trusts and foundations. As such, the Foundation is always looking to build its supporter base. For those wishing to get involved, there are many options available, including remembering Colchester Museums Development Foundation with a legacy gift in your Will. Legacy donations play a critical role in sustaining museums up and down the country, helping to fund important research endeavours, facilitate educational projects, and preserve precious artefacts, ensuring that the history of cities and towns like Colchester remains alive and accessible to all. A legacy gift, no matter how big or small, is an amazing way to ensure that your support for Colchester Museums continues into the future.

Help us to continue preserving the heritage of Colchester and inform the future of our work for generations to come.

Councillor Michelle Burrows, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, said: “Our museums are based in the heart of Colchester's thriving communities, and their survival, along with the preservation of Colchester's rich history, is supported by kind donations from passionate supporters. We invite these devoted individuals to consider leaving their mark on the next generation by leaving a legacy donation, contributing to the enduring legacy of Colchester's cultural heritage.”

Sophie Weaver, Chair of the Board, said:CMDF has gone from strength to strength in its two years. We are already seeing the positive impact of having a foundation that can amplify community voices, and act nimbly to support and prioritise projects that are important to local people. As CMDF continues to grow, so will the capacity and resilience of our Museums Service. It is an exciting time for heritage in Colchester!”

For more information on how to become a donor or to discuss legacy giving, please visit the Colchester Museums Development Foundation website, or contact the Foundation directly by phone or email


Page last reviewed: 5 September 2023


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