The Museum of British Surfing 

Plans to open the first full time surfing museum in Europe have taken a major step forward. North Devon District Council has approved planning permission for the Museum of British Surfing to be established in Braunton.

"I'm delighted the council has given us their blessing," said founder Peter Robinson, "6 years of hard work have finally paid off and we stand a real chance of opening in 2010."

The surf museum is working with North Devon Plus to get the core funding in place to fit out the building as a 21st century event-based visitor attraction at the old Saltrock factory outlet building on the Vellator Industrial Estate.

"Money is obviously tight everywhere, but already several companies and individuals have already offered their help. It's important the surfing community gets behind us now to help create an exciting and fun venue we can all be proud of," said Peter, "we're looking for investors and founding partners - no amount is too small - but we urgently need to raise the money for the charity to complete the project."

As a taster of things to come, the museum's travelling exhibition 'an art history of British surfing' will be opening in Braunton later in August to help raise funds and increase the project's profile - more than 13,000 people saw the display while it was in Thurso, Scotland, over the last 3 months. Details will be published on the museum's website in the near future.

"The support of North Devon Plus and the local district and parish councils has been vital in getting the surf museum this far, and this has been backed up by promises of support from surfing brands and surfers working in other businesses offering their skills," said Peter.

Almost 200,000 people have visited the museum's travelling surf history exhibitions over the past 6 years.

British surfing history can be traced back to the time of Captain James Cook when some of his crew tried the Hawaiians' surfboards in 1779, and first recorded instances of surfing on English beaches date back to the 1800s.

The Museum of British Surfing is a charity established to run the project and includes Surfers Against Sewage founder Chris Hines MBE on its board of trustees.

The hunt is now on to find funding and founding partners to help us design the interior and fit out the 6,000 square foot building to make it really special - if you can help please get in touch.

Do have experience of fundraising and grant applications?
Are you a surfer with museums experience?
Have you got experience of applying to become, or running, a charity?
Do you work in the building trade?
Can you or your company sponsor us by donating services, skills, materials or financially?
Have you got knowledge of planning rules or design skills?
Can you help us go green by supplying and installing solar and wind power?

It has been a long struggle to get this far - six years of hard work - but we have a window of opportunity to get up and running in 2009 or early 2010 and create a truly special visitor attraction that we can all be proud of.