THE Federation of Museums and Galleries of Wales has urged residents to get behind the Pontypool Museum campaign to recruit 1,000 new members.

John Marjoram, development officer for the federation said the loss to the area if the local institution were to close would be “devastating”.

Mr Marjoram said: “Museums like that of Pontypool house countless long-term memories of the community. Elements of the Eastern Valley have disappeared but they live on through the museum. If it closed it would be like throwing away history.”

The museum is dealing with a £19,000 shortfall in its core budget from Torfaen council, due to a strict cost-saving 2014/15 budget.

It has set a target of 1,000 new members to give it a ‘fighting chance’ – with the Free Press campaigning on its behalf.

Museum curator Deborah Wildgust said earlier this month that by becoming a member, local people can ensure the collections stay in Torfaen for future generations and the museum can stay open several days a week.

Membership fees are £15 per year or £20 for a family. Business, institution or club fees cost £60. Gift aiding is available and gives the trust an extra 25p from the government for every £1 donated.

Membership benefits include free entry to all exhibitions, ten per cent off selected books and gifts in the museum shop, exclusive invitations to special events and exhibitions, newsletters and updates featuring upcoming attractions and trust news, and voting rights at the Trust AGM to appoint new trustees.

Corporate members receive promotion in newsletters, on social media and on the website.

For more information call into the museum, call 01495 752036 or send an email to