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It’s time for tea as Wisbech and District Museum gets ready to open a coffee shop

Wisbech museum is set to open a tea room next month.
Wisbech museum is set to open a tea room next month.

Town museum is introducing a raft of new initiatives to help it become more visitor friendly and ‘fit for the future’.

Wisbech and Fenland Museum is planning a tearoom and new shop products having listened to visitors comments and gaining support for equipment from the Association of Independent Museums.

The tearoom is one of several new services the museum is trialling to support itself in the short term and in working towards a longer term redevelopment of the building, displays and site in the future.

Other new services planned for the coming months are guided tours of the museum and an improved museum shop area selling a wide range of toys, souvenirs and gifts.

It is hoped the tearoom will be a relaxing space for visitors to take refreshment after visiting an event, exhibition or simply shopping in Wisbech. It will be downstairs in the museum, overlooking the garden and will be set amongst a new display about Wisbech’s important history and those who have helped shape it.

Responses from families, day visitors and community groups showed a tearoom and shop are high on the list to improve the museum.

Staff have looked at ways to offer this on a small scale in the first instance which will also raise much needed funds for the running of the museum.

Ari Volanakis, project manager of fit for the future said: “We have just been notified of new support from the Association of Independent Museums Sustainability Fund to buy equipment so that we can run a tea room and sell new merchandise to increase our own income.

“It is clear from feedback we have from local families, volunteers as well as visitors to the town that the museum is greatly valued in the community and region.

“As well as offering visitors what they have asked for to improve their visit, proceeds from any profit made will be one of many ways we can fund this museum and keep it going. This is a lovely relaxing way to support your local museum.”

The tearoom will open in October and will provide tea, coffee, cold drinks, snacks, cake and biscuits at affordable price.

The 12-month long Fit for the Future Resilience Project aims to help the directors of the museum establish a new and financially-sustainable future.

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