AVONCROFT Museum has received a much-needed financial boost after being awarded £141,400 of emergency funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help it through the Coronavirus pandemic.
The popular venue – which was England’s first ever outdoor museum – reopened its grounds yesterday for the first time since March, when it had to shut due to the public safety and the Government’s lockdown restrictions.
As the museum is a charity and does not receive any funding from the Government or the local authority it relies on income through admissions, functions and retail.
The loss of four months trading has had a devastating impact on the charity’s finances – particularly as it came at a time when the museum usually hosts a number of popular events in quick succession – including Easter celebrations, traditional May Day festivities and the spring bank holiday event.
All of those had to be cancelled and the bills were mounting up.
The museum’s bosses, volunteers and supporters say they are massively grateful that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has responded positively to its application for four months emergency funding.
The award of £141,400 will go a long way to increasing the chances of short-term survival whilst they plan to ensure the museum can bloom again in the
Acting deputy director Nick Sturgess said: “Avoncroft is a hugely valued asset to the communities of the Midlands.
“We are therefore grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their continued support and cannot thank them enough for awarding us this emergency grant.
“We are planning to re-open the Museum in a gradual, phased way over the next few weeks.
“Being an open-air museum, we can open the grounds safely to our visitors, volunteers and staff, by both following government guidance and by introducing Covid-safe practices.
“We expect to be able to give access to buildings’ interiors very soon thereafter, and begin offering catering and events as soon as possible. The Lottery grant brings all this so much closer, we’d like to thank all National Lottery players for making this possible, and we look forward to welcoming visitors again.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing.
“All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.
“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as Avoncroft Museum during this uncertain time.”
Like Avoncroft Museum, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600million of repurposed money from The National Lottery.
“This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.”
The National Lottery Heritage Fund made £50million available in emergency funding for those most in need.
The UK-wide fund addresses both immediate emergency actions and helps organisations to start thinking about recovery.
Currently the museum is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
For more information about opening dates, times and booking your tickets, visit www.avoncroft.org.uk.