The Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group has highlighted the importance of the Robert Owen Museum, Newtown during a recent address at the organisation's AGM.
Born in Newtown, social reformer and businessman Robert Owen created the first co-operative and is seen as the father of the international co-operative movement.
For many years, the museum received assistance from The Co-op Group. However, this ceased when the company experienced difficulties. It has now been fully reinstated for the next three years.
The new group Chief Executive Richard Pennycook stated in his speech to the AGM in May that the organisation is making a series of charitable commitments, adding: "We want to become well-known both locally and nationally for this work and restore our reputation for leadership in social issues."
Museum Curator Pat Brandwood said: "I am thrilled that the important work the museum does in keeping Robert Owen's legacy alive and safeguarding the collection has been recognised by The Co-op at the highest level.
"We are also delighted that a historic partnership between The Co-op and the Robert Owen Museum has been reinstated. The funding gives us a more secure future and will contribute towards the day-to-day running of the museum."
More good news for the museum came recently when the Davies Sisters Trust doubled its contribution and the Co-op Heritage Trust have offered advice and are seeking to strengthen their partnership with the Robert Owen Museum in a number of practical and financial ways.
Pat added: "It is lovely to see that this historic connections between Robert Owen and Newtown is being strengthened through this donation and we are so grateful to the Davies Sisters Trust for providing us with this grant. And we must also thank Mid Counties Co-op at Churchstoke who are giving us a grant for 3 years and supporting us in organising events. Our partnerships and the co-operation they bring expand the reach of the museum and its work far beyond Newtown."
The Robert Owen Memorial Museum is open Monday to Friday between 11am and 3pm, on Saturdays between 12pm and 3pm during the summer and at other times by appointment. Please contact the museum if you would like to become involved or for a guided tour with the curator. The website at http://robert-owen-museum.org.uk/ has further information about the museum and the life of Robert Owen.