Staff at Chippenham’s museum and heritage centre brought out the champagne to celebrate after receiving national recognition from the Arts Council.

The museum has been awarded accredited status by Arts Council England, acknowledging the quality of its service and its work with the local community.

The status, which has been awarded to fewer than 1,800 museums in the UK, could help Chippenham’s museum to secure more funding.

Curator Melissa Barnett said: “We only found out on Monday morning and by 4pm we had a champagne reception organised. We were overwhelmed to see 40 of our volunteers and wardens turn up at such short notice. It’s our wardens and our volunteers that have helped us get this. It’s a professional standard really, it’s a benchmark and it does help us for lottery bids. It’s quite hard to get and we have worked hard behind the scenes to get everything right.

“Although we have had to apply for it, we have been working to that standard already.”