The future of Ironbridge’s most historic buildings is in the hands of visitors to a riverside hotel.
The Best Western Valley Hotel has become the first venue in the area to install a contactless donation point to allow guests to give to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s Fund for the Future.
The aim of the appeal is to raise £1 million by 2021, which will be match funded by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to conserve multiple sites in Coalbrookdale.
Widely known as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the furnace where Abraham Darby first smelted iron is among the buildings which the Fund is focused on, alongside the Dam Wall, Quaker Burial Ground, Arboretum, Darby Houses and the Coalbrookdale Company’s Warehouses.
The donation point at The Valley is the first of its kind outside of the museums themselves, but trust chiefs are hoping other companies will take the hotel’s lead and help boost the appeal total.
Sales and marketing manager Lisa Snape said: “Many of our visitors choose the hotel because of its proximity to the historical sites of Ironbridge, and our guests love learning more about the history of the area while they’re here.
“So it made absolute sense for us to host a donation site which means our guests can give something back and ensure these buildings are conserved for future generations.
“You don’t have to be staying at the hotel to use the contactless point, if you’re visiting us for an event or coming to the restaurant - or even if you just happen to be passing - please come in and ask staff about donating.”
Adam Siviter, the trust’s fundraising manager, added they were thrilled to see the first donation point going into Ironbridge.
“We have been working really hard to promote Fund for the Future within our museums so it’s fantastic to have awareness for the appeal being raised elsewhere too.
“We are hoping to see numerous donation points set up around the area in the coming months, and would welcome any organisation getting in touch with us to see how they could help us conserve these historic sites.”
Visit http://www.thevalleyhotel.co.uk/ for more information about The Valley, or to find out about the appeal go to https://www.ironbridge.org.uk/our-story/support-us/fund-for-the-future/.