THE LOCAL community is being urged to get behind Dorset County Museum to help realise its ambitious redevelopment plan.

It was announced last week that the Dorchester museum would be awarded £10.3milliom from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its Collections Discovery Centre, which will see the museum transformed and the public given greater access to its artefacts.

However, despite the grant success the museum is still left with the challenge of raising £3million for the project and there is a chance for members of the local community to get involved in the fundraising push.

The museum's fundraising team leader David Taylor, who is also a member of Dorchester Town Council and West Dorset District Council, said that with the education facilities planned as part of the project and the economic benefits it would bring to the area - the redevelopment would be a huge boost to Dorchester and the wider local area.

He said it was now time for the community to get behind the fundraising efforts and help the museum get to its required funds.

Cllr Taylor said: "I believe very strongly in the community aspect of this project and people in the county town, the county, the country and even internationally will benefit."

Cllr Taylor said the project had the the support of the likes of Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, who is patron of the museum's development appeal, and Sir David Attenborough, who visited the Dorset County Museum earlier this year, while he was pleased to see the way local councils had also got behind the scheme.

The museum will now embark on a two-year development phase and if it is given the green light by the Heritage Lottery Fund in May 2017 it will then move onto a build phase, with the project expected to be completed by Easter 2020.

Cllr Taylor said that with the lottery funding meaning the project was now a reality, fundraising efforts for the remaining amount required were being stepped up and he was keen to her from He said: "I'm seeking volunteers who can help us with our quest.

"We welcome people to join us as part of the most exciting moment in the museum's history and to develop something that will be enjoyed by generations to come."

Anyone interested is asked to contact Cllr Taylor at the museum on 01305 756827 or email

Information is also available at