Saving the hoard
After the Staffordshire Hoard was declared treasure and valued at £3.285 million, a huge fundraising campaign to save the hoard for the nation was mounted by the Art Fund on behalf of local, regional and national partners.
Over £900,000 was raised through public donations, which is one of the largest ever ‘public gives’ to an arts campaign. Donations from members of the public ranged from £1 to £100,000, and came from as far afield as the USA and Japan. In addition to public support, the campaign received substantial donations from trusts and foundations and a generous £1,285,000 NHMF grant. Birmingham and Stoke City Councils also pledged £100,000 each, Staffordshire County Council gave £80,000 and Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council donated £20,000 each.
In 2012, a further 81 fragments from the hoard were discovered and declared Treasure. They were valued at £57,395 and the owners of the existing collection braced themselves for another fundraising campaign. However, the full sum was raised within a week, thanks to the generosity of Court Jewellers Wartski, who donated the entire sum. Their generosity ensured that the new items have found a home with the existing collection.
What people said when the Staffordshire Hoard was saved:
Stephen Deuchar, Director of The Art Fund, said: “We have been absolutely bowled over by the enthusiasm and fascination the Staffordshire Hoard has sparked amongst the British public, as well as visitors from abroad. It is wonderful news that the NHMF has enabled the target of £3.3m to be reached ahead of the deadline, and I hope that this will give the West Midlands a head-start with the next stage in fundraising for the conservation, research and display of the treasure.”
Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of NHMF, said: “We’re delighted to be able to announce this news today. The Staffordshire Hoard is an extraordinary heritage treasure. It is exactly the sort of thing the National Heritage Memorial Fund was set up to save, stepping in as the ‘fund of last resort’ when our national heritage is at risk, as a fitting memorial to those who have given their lives in the service of our nation. We’re delighted, in our 30th anniversary year, to be able to make sure it stays just where it belongs, providing rare insights into one of the more mysterious periods of our history.”
David Starkey commented: “This is wonderful news for historians worldwide – the Staffordshire Hoard provides us with vital clues to our ancient past, and now we can set about decoding them. We’re delighted that The Art Fund, the NHMF, all other funding bodies and the generous public have helped us save these breathtaking treasures for posterity. It’s now vital that we think ahead towards a future conservation of the Hoard, and displays that will match the excitement of the find.”
Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure Sport and Culture for Birmingham City Council said: “It is great achievement to secure the hoard for the West Midlands Region. Not only have we managed to raise the necessary £3.3 million to return the hoard to its rightful home a month ahead of schedule but a staggering £900,000 of this has been raised by personal donations. I have been overwhelmed by the public response and can’t thank enough everyone who has given and supported our campaign in helping us bringing the Hoard home.”
Councillor Hazel Lyth, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “This grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund is the cherry on the cake of an extraordinary fundraising campaign which has highlighted how proud and determined the local community have been to keep the Staffordshire Hoard in the region. But this is great news for the whole country; we can now begin to unlock the secrets held within this amazing collection.”
But there is still more work to be done. A further £1.7m must be found so that the Staffordshire Hoard can be properly conserved, studied and displayed. Find out more about how to donate today.