Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sunday, July 12, 2020 12:01 am by M. in ,    No comments
Probably one of the most important posts we have ever made:
The Brontë Society
Brontë Parsonage Museum Appeal (Covid19)

Being closed since March has hit us hard financially. A grant from the Arts Council Emergency Response fund means that we can plan to reopen and survive until September, but we need your help to ensure we will still be here next year.
Haworth Parsonage was the home of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë from 1820.
 It is the place where some of the greatest novels in the English language - 'Jane Eyre', 'Wuthering Heights' and 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall' - were written, and now, as the Brontë Parsonage Museum, it houses the worlds largest collection of Brontë manuscripts, furniture and personal possessions. It opened as a museum in 1928 and usually attracts over 70,000 visitors from all over the world each year.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum, and the Brontë family who lived there, are loved and admired by people all over the world.  This was evident last autumn,  when over 1000 supporters helped us to purchase a rare Charlotte Brontë 'little book' at auction. We remain touched by, and enormously grateful for, the huge volume of donations and messages of encouragement we received.

When we shared the precious manuscript with our first visitors of the season on 1 February, little did we know that we would have to close our doors again just a few weeks later.   Our primary income streams dried up overnight.  Devastatingly, this has put the Museum's future at risk and so, regrettably, we need to ask for your support again.  Please can you help us ensure we will still be here next year? 

The Brontë Society is a registered charity, and although our programme is supported by Arts Council England, we rely heavily on income from general admissions, school groups, live events and retail sales to run and maintain the Museum.  Being closed since March has resulted in a loss of expected income of over £500k, an amount that would usually keep us going during the quieter winter months. When we reopen, we know that recovery will be slow - a combination of the intimacy of the historic rooms and the measures required to keep staff and visitors safe will limit our ability to welcome visitors back in the numbers required to be sustainable.  We have made use of all the  state support available to us, including furloughing the majority of our staff and applying for grants and emergency funds, but we are still facing an end of year deficit of £100,000. We are painfully aware that everything we have done and still plan to do might not be enough to ensure our survival into 2021.

Please can you help the Museum by making a donation today?  We know that times are hard for people, institutions and businesses everywhere, but if you, or someone you know, are able to help us at this difficult time, it might just make the difference between us staying open or closing our doors again.  We don't want that to happen: we want to be here next year and in the years that follow, so that we can continue to share the Brontës' home and our world-class collection with all of you,  wherever in the world you are.

Your gift today - no matter how small - will help us to recover from the Covid19 crisis so that we can continue to welcome visitors to this very special place for generations to come.

Thank you.

**If you would prefer to donate offline, please forward a cheque made payable to The Brontë Society to Brontë Parsonage Museum, Church Street, Haworth, Keighley, BD22 8DR.  Thank you.** 

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