West Midlands Charities and Public Save the Staffordshire Gold

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West Midlands Charities and Public Save the Staffordshire Gold

The Art Fund has announced that the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest archaeological Anglo-Saxon gold hoard ever found, has been saved.

The £3.300.000 sum has been secured thanks to grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (the government’s fund for heritage sites), Birmingham and Stoke City Councils, which put in £100.000 each, and over £900.000 from private donations coming as far as Australia and Japan. A generous local gave £50.000 alone.

The campaign featured public celebrities like Tony Robinson, Frank Skinner and Bill Wyman. Birmingham Art Gallery and Stoke-on-Trent Potteries Museum will now share the ancient gold.

Founded in July 2009, the Art Fund launched the campaign to save the Staffordshire Hoard in early 2010. Receiving the prestigious Apollo Magazine ‘Acquisition of the Year’ award, its director, Stephen Deuchar, thanked the public:

We have been absolutely bowled over by the enthusiasm and fascination the Staffordshire Hoard has sparked amongst the British public, as well as visitors from abroad. It is wonderful news that the NHMF has enabled the target of £3.3m to be reached ahead of the deadline, and I hope that this will give the West Midlands a head-start with the next stage in fundraising for the conservation, research and display of the treasure.

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Leisure Sport and Culture Martin Mullaney emphasised the impact for the region:

It is great achievement to secure the hoard for the West Midlands Region. Not only have we managed to raise the necessary £3.3 million to return the hoard to its rightful home a month ahead of schedule but a staggering £900,000 of this has been raised by personal donations. I have been overwhelmed by the public response and can’t thank enough everyone who has given and supported our campaign in helping us bringing the Hoard home.

Stoke council cabinet member for Economic development and Culture Hazel Lyth hailed ‘an extraordinary fundraising campaign’:

This grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund is the cherry on the cake of an extraordinary fundraising campaign which has highlighted how proud and determined the local community have been to keep the Staffordshire Hoard in the region. But this is great news for the whole country

More money is needed as future plans include the development of a ‘Mercian Trail’ in Lichfield and Tamworth, unlocking the secrets of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. The public is encouraged to keep donating!

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