Singleton museum expands in age of growing competition

The Weald and Downland Museum
The Weald and Downland Museum

Situated in the beautiful village of Singleton, The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is one of West Sussex’s best known attractions.

Famous across the South Coast for its collection of historic buildings, the museum offers a different form of entertainment for those who have a passion for learning and experiencing something new.

With the rise of technology, the lure of traditional galleries or museums is often ignored.

The financial implications from this can be disastrous,leading in some cases to the closure or reduction of these once thriving commodities.

For the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum however, the quirkiness and unique display of British history has led to a huge level of support and financial backing.

As is the case with the majority of attractions, the museum generates its income in a variety of ways, as its marketing manager, Jenny Rudd, confirmed: “The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum is a self-funding independent charity.

“We rely on revenue from a broad range of sources, including day visitors, school groups, adult education courses, venue hire, filming, and retail sales.

“Legacies and charitable donations, plus support from Trusts and Foundations are also vital in enabling the museum to sustain its core aims.”

She added: “There is, naturally, competition from both other attractions, and from retail and other entertainment experiences.

“However, we offer a great value membership scheme and the museum continues to grow in both popularity and size – two new exhibit buildings are being added this year.

“The opening of our Heritage Lottery Funded Gateway Project buildings next spring (featuring a new shop, café, visitor centre and a community space) will enable our visitors to better explore, enjoy, understand and become involved with the museum.”

Fifty buildings have been restored since opening to the public in 1970, and with the oncoming developments, the future looks assured for the ever popular museum.

Upcoming events include a 15th century encampment, where all ages can experience medieval warfare and an examination of weaponry, and a nighttime tour of the museum.

For a list of all future events at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, visit the website on: wealddown.co.uk