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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April, 2005, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Rural museum backers raise 11m
A wagon being unloaded at the museum
It is hoped the museum's collection will draw in tourists
Backers of a museum of English countryside life have raised the final amount needed for its 11m revamp.

Last year, Reading University launched an appeal to raise the final 250,000 needed to make the Museum of English Rural Life a major tourist attraction.

Donations from the public exceeded that amount by 35,000, the university says.

The museum will now open the doors to its archives and library next month. Its new exhibition building is set to open in July.

'Great step forward'

The museum's 10.89m makeover was also funded by a 5.17m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and cash from the university itself and local businesses.

The museum, which used to be located at the university's Whiteknights campus, has now moved to a new home at the former St Andrew's hall of residence.

Dr Roy Brigden, keeper of the museum, said: "We are thrilled to be making this great step forward and are extremely grateful to all those who have donated the funds to help us show our collections in the best possible conditions.

"The existing St Andrew's Hall building has been completely refurbished and now houses the museum's nationally important archive, book and photographic collections, along with enhanced visitor facilities, including a new reading room and space for temporary exhibitions."

A range of objects relating to farming, rural crafts and industries, most of which date from 1850 to 1950, are kept at the museum.

Country museum makes cash appeal
03 Aug 04 |  Berkshire
Doors open on 2m museum makeover
29 Mar 04 |  Berkshire

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