SINCE launching its campaign to attract 1,000 new members to prevent it from closure, Pontypool Museum has hit its halfway mark.

The museum is currently trying to attract 1,000 new members to make up for a £19,000 cash shortfall in its budget after losing council funding to prevent it from closure.

We have been backing its campaign and the museum staff are pleased to announce that for its current membership year, which runs to March 31, 2015, it has 500 members. This is made up of a combination of brand new members and also existing members who have chosen to renew their membership.

Fundraising officer at the museum, Sassy Hicks, said: “What has been amazing is that some people and groups whose membership lapsed years ago have re-joined after seeing our campaign to help save the museum.

“The support and good wishes from the people of Torfaen has been incredible.

“Local residents really value their heritage and understand that Pontypool Museum safeguards artefacts and rare photographs on behalf of everyone in Torfaen as we are the borough museum.”

The museum now has members join from across Wales, from London and overseas and have also received donations as goodwill gestures.

Ms Hicks added: “This is the most successful membership campaign we have ever run and we hope people continue to join to help save the museum and secure its future.

“We have also seen an increase in the amount of new corporate members as the local business community recognises the value of being associated with the museum.

“We now have ten corporate members who have pledged their support.”

Museum volunteers are all working hard to promote the membership campaign and have set up a volunteer fundraising group who visit local organisations to explain the benefits of joining as members.

This face to face contact with local organisations has really helped us to be able to clarify to people why saving Pontypool Museum is so important.

Ms Hicks said: “Pontypool Museum may be facing a difficult future financially due to funding cuts, but in the face of adversity the whole team is more determined than ever to show it is a vibrant and thriving place for the whole community.”

There are currently four exhibitions on display at the museum including Blaschka Glass, the seascapes of Vernon Jones, a First World War in Torfaen display and artworks by Mary James.

These sit alongside our other permanent displays and will be joined by a special RNLI exhibition in September.

The museum is also running a series of seaside themed art workshops every Wednesday morning for youngsters to enjoy.

For additional information on how to become a member you can either call 01495 752036 or send an email