The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is urging people and businesses to rally behind the Fund for the Future campaign.
A figure of up to £1m has been secured through a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund but the fundraising team now needs to come up with another £1m in match funding by 2021 to take full advantage of the grant.
Anna Brennand, the trust’s chief executive officer, said the long term goal was to raise a £15m Fund for the Future.
She said: “We have a fantastic opportunity through the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to access up to £1 million to ensure these iconic buildings and monuments are conserved for future generations.
“The funding will enable us to improve access and interpretation for our thousands of visitors to create a better understanding of the global significance of our museum sites.
“It’s a huge task and a lot of money but we are ready for the challenge. We hope that Shropshire residents, visitors to the county and businesses will support our campaign to safeguard our heritage.”
Andrea Fox, fundraising manager, said: “Time is short and we only have three years to raise the £1 million match funding.
"We will be organising all sorts of events which will aid us in our task including a fancy dress Parkrun, a new networking group for county businesses and a number of initiatives with local schools.
“There will be lots of ways to help secure the future of the Ironbridge Gorge’s industrial heritage and we will be unveiling them over the coming months.
"We want the public to get behind us from the outset and help us to ensure our valuable assets are secured and conserved for years to come.”
In 1986 the Ironbridge Gorge was designated one of the UK’s first World Heritage Sites, recognising Ironbridge’s unique contribution to the birth of the Industrial Revolution some 300 years ago – an event which still has an impact across the world today.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust welcomes over half a million visitors each year to its award winning sites, for fun and educational days out.
The trust is a wholly independent charity and all income is reinvested back into the trust’s charitable work of education and heritage conservation.
The heritage assets that will benefit from the successful Fund for the Future campaign include Darby’s Old Furnace in Coalbrookdale, the Coalbrookdale Company’s Warehouses including the Museum of Iron and Enginuity, as well as the Darby Houses, the Quaker Burial Ground and Arboretum.
For more information about the project visit www.ironbridge.org.uk or donate online at www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/ironbridge-gorgemuseum/fundforthefuture