The Trust

Museum of East Dorset is the trading name of The Priest’s House Museum Trust, a company limited by guarantee, as well as a registered charity (Registered Charity No. 1068540). The Trust works in partnership with Dorset Council, who provide financial support and maintain the fabric of the building.

The Trust is run by a Board of Trustees who are elected by its Members. These Trustees are responsible for continuing to pursue the vision of the museum’s founder, Hilda Coles, who wanted “…a ‘live’ museum – a centre of education and culture, continually changing its displays and appealing to children as well as to adults.”

The Priest’s House Museum Trust’s Vision: We aspire to celebrate our rich heritage through a vibrant museum and cultural hub which connects people with the past and offers enjoyment, learning and inspiration to visitors of all ages.

The Priest’s House Museum Trust’s Mission: To become a dynamic heritage and cultural centre for all, and a quality attraction in the area.

We will achieve this through:

  • Providing a compelling, value-for-money experience for all ages, both on-site and online, which generates repeat visits and recommendations
  • Using our local and unique collections, historic building and learning services to help people discover and share stories about East Dorset and its heritage
  • Ensuring that all parties collaborate to collect, preserve and interpret our collections and develop knowledge for future generations
  • Strengthening engagement with different communities and generations in East Dorset and beyond
  • Diversifying/increasing income streams from Museum of East Dorset and East Dorset Information Centre within Charity Commission guidelines
  • Valuing all people who work and participate at the museum and information centre

The Information Centre is also operated by a separate company, East Dorset TIC Limited (Registered No. 08809040).

The collections within the museum are owned by a separate charity, the Priest’s House Museum Collections Trust (Registered Charity No. 1068563).

Publication of Feasibility Study

The Collections Trust has recently become a beneficiary of the residue of the estate of the late Ian Willis, a well-known local resident. As a result of this a feasibility study was commissioned to ascertain how best to manage the legacy. The result is published below.

NB It should be noted that the figures quoted in this study are conservative and that in the current economic climate could increase by 15-20%