Sir David Attenborough Guest of Honour at Museum Inauguration Ceremony
Lyme Regis Museum welcomed its most famous patron, Sir David Attenborough, to lead a special inauguration ceremony for the Mary Anning Wing, the new extension which opened in July.
Dorset LEP helped to secure £56,250 towards the cost of the new extension via the Government’s Local Growth Fund.
In a speech to over 200 museum supporters and funders, Sir David emphasised the importance of Lyme Regis to the development of the science of geology, and paid special reference to Lyme’s Mary Anning, the world’s first and greatest fossil hunter.
David Tucker, Director of Lyme Regis Museum said, “It was splendid that Sir David was able to help us thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and other institutions who have funded the Mary Anning Wing. We are immensely grateful for their support and will continue to do all we can to protect Lyme’s heritage and contribute to the local economy.”
Present at the event was Stephen Boyce, Chair HLF South West Committee. Mr Boyce commented, “Home of geological and charitable ‘firsts’, the inspiration of literary greats and the place to go for generations of people fascinated by fossils, Lyme Regis has an extraordinarily rich heritage. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the new Mary Anning Wing provides an incredible gateway into that heritage and into the inspiring story of its namesake and the museum’s fascinating collections. Congratulations to all who have made this grand opening possible and we look forward to celebrating Lyme Regis Museum’s bright future.”
Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Gordon Page, said: “Dorset LEP is pleased to have secured local growth funding from the Government to support this worthy project to benefit the local area and economy. Tourism is a key sector for Dorset and this impressive addition to one of Dorset’s much-loved museums will help to contribute to the wider economic well-being of the region through the creation of jobs, and increased visitor numbers and local spend.”
Lyme Regis Museum, a charity, is open all year and its small professional staff is supported by a talented team of trustees and volunteers who provide governance, expert advice on business and academic matters and research into Lyme’s history. Volunteers also actively fundraise on behalf of the museum, and operate the museum’s admission point and shop. Its auspicious patrons include author Tracy Chevalier, Professor Richard Lane, Professor Sir Ghillean Prance, Sir Crispin Tickell, Sir David Attenborough and previous Honorary Curator Max Hebditch. It is the most used museum by schools in Dorset.
Image by Maisie Hill