The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust was established in 1967 to preserve and interpret the remains of the Industrial Revolution in the six square miles of the Ironbridge Gorge. It is an independent educational charity (Registered Number 503717–R), which by its entrepreneurial flair encourages visitors to be involved in and support its conservation work through admission charges, trading and associated commercial activities. Development costs are sought through grants and donations.
Responsible to a Board of Trustees, the Museum staff manages 35 historic sites within the World Heritage Site of the Ironbridge Gorge, ten of which are museums. The Trust’s innovative methods and pioneering approach to managing museums have been widely copied and are now common practice in museums, whether public or privately funded. As well as ten museums, the sites also include a research library, a tourist information centre, two youth hostels, archaeological sites, historic woodlands, housing, two chapels, and two Quaker burial grounds.