A HAMPSHIRE museum has scooped a national award after winning its battle to keep a hoard of Roman coins in the county.

St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington took just three months to raise the £30,000 needed to buy the ancient coins from the British Museum and put them on display.

Now the museum has been presented with a prestigious award by the National Arts Fundraising School.

TV historian and broadcaster Dan Snow, who lives in the New Forest and spearheaded the appeal, said: “I’m so proud of St Barbe.

“It has a local collection of international significance and has now proved it can run a relatively small fundraising campaign with huge ambition. It was an honour to play a small part.”

The hoard will go on show when St Barbe re-opens in July after receiving a major facelift, including a new entrance.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the coins were found buried in a field at Warborne Farm, Boldre, in 2014.

They were taken to the British Museum and declared archaeological treasure by a coroner. The museum wanted to retain some of the rarer artefacts but St Barbe was determined to keep the collection intact and put it on display.

However, St Barbe needed to raise tens of thousands of pounds to buy the hoard, carry out vital restoration work and build a secure display area.

The appeal received a boost when US executive Richard Beleson, an avid coin collector, vowed to donate £7,500 if the people of Lymington did the same.

Earlier this year the fund was still slightly short of its target but Mr Beleson increased his donation to £9,657, enabling St Barbe to hit its target.

Now the museum has won the Brown Creative Award for Best Campaign Under £100,000 in the Emcees Awards 2017.

It was among only eight organisations across the UK to win one of the awards, which aim to recognise excellence in arts and culture fundraising.

David Rule, chairman of the trustees at St Barbe, said: “It’s wonderful that all the hard work done by our team has been recognised nationally in this way.”

Museum director Mark Tomlinson added: “This award belongs to the local community whose generosity and support made this possible.”

The coins are worth about £7,500. The oldest is thought to have been struck as far back as AD 249 under the emperor Trebonianus Gallus.