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Scarborough Today (UK): Oil giant Shell to sponsor Rotunda

Scarborough Today (UK): Oil giant Shell to sponsor Rotunda

24 May 2005


SHELL UK has become the first corporate sponsor of the Rotunda Museum.


Lord Oxburgh, the chairman of Shell Transport and Trading, will announce full details of the major boost to the Rotunda renovation campaign when he arrives in Scarborough to visit the museum today.


An eminent geologist himself, Lord Oxburgh said he was delighted to be making the announcement on behalf of Shell UK and to visit Scarborough again.


He said: ‘The Dinosaur Coast is one of the richest geological coastlines in Britain and the Rotunda Museum is unique.


“Shell is really pleased to be involved with this project which not only renews this very special museum but also develops understanding of geology.”


Sponsorship from Shell seems especially fitting as the facts that William ‘Strata’ Smith established in the l820s are still highly relevant to oil, gas and mineral exploration today.


The Rotunda Museum is the only building which can claim to have been shaped – quite literally – to illustrate his theories.


Joining Lord Oxburgh at the Rotunda Museum to announce the detail of the Shell contribution will be Lord Derwent, who is chairman of the Rotunda Museum Trust, and Scarborough Council leader Eileen Bosomworth representing the partnership working to deliver the Rotunda Project.


The Heritage Lottery Fund has indicated it will give just under £2 million to the renovation scheme.


Scarborough Council and the Museums Trust have until December to submit details of the project.


If the bid is successful, work to transform the museum will being in April 2006.


The new Rotunda will include a “Geology now” wing featuring all the latest geological research, as well as an information wing to encourage visitors to explore Scarborough’s Dinosaur Coast.


The Rotunda was built in 1829 to house the collection of the Scarborough Philosophical Society and is one of the earliest surviving purpose-built museums in the country.


When the museum is reopened it will also contain a section devoted to the life of Smith who is regarded as the father of English geology.

It will include some of Smith’s own collection of fossils on loan from the Natural History Museum in London and replicas of his maps including his finest creation, The Map That Changed The World


The English Heritage-backed project will also see a new entrance to the Rotunda and a lift so everyone can access the building, as well as a new visitor centre. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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