The former burgh of Newport on Tay comprises the villages of Newport and Wormit and the hamlet of Forgan, and has a population of about 4,250. After a series of very successful and popular local history exhibitions, the Newport History Group was set up at the end of 2016, and now has nearly 300 members, although membership is not formalised and there is no fee. The group has a high profile in the area, encouraged by the Old Newport Facebook page and a regular programme of activities. From the outset, the intention had been to create a digitised accessible online archive, and to that end proceeds from our last exhibition were used to photograph all the many exhibits.
How did we raise £8000 in just over three years? We organise about 5 talks a year, which are popular and well attended; admission is £3 including a glass of wine or soft drink, and we raise around £90 each time. We created a series of tapestry panels depicting village landmarks, and produced greetings cards of the panels. We’ve also made Christmas cards, calendars and fridge magnets for sale. Our outlets for these are small pop up exhibitions and sales, and local businesses. These sales have raised approximately £2,700.00, with a profit of around 70%. We have approached local organisations such as the Rotary club and charitable trusts, which have responded with donations totalling £2,450.00.
By the start of 2020 we had a shortfall of about £2000. We somewhat reluctantly completed a National Heritage Lottery Fund application, but just as this was submitted, the application process was closed due to coronavirus. We turned then to our members, not through a formal crowd funding initiative, but with a simple email explaining our predicament, and within two weeks we had reached our target! We are indeed fortunate to have such an enthusiastic, supportive and generous community behind us.