Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings has been awarded a grant of £141,400 from the National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund to help it through the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Towards the end of March, Avoncroft Museum in Bromsgrove had to close overnight, temporarily shutting its doors, to ensure public safety during the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting national lockdown.

As the Museum does not receive any government or local authority funding, the charity relies on generating income through admissions, functions and retail. The loss of four months trading has devastated the charity’s finances, with popular events, including Easter, May Day and Spring Bank Holiday all having to be cancelled, whilst bills still have to be paid.

The Museum and its supporters are therefore 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 long-term.

Nick Sturgess, Acting Deputy Director, 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.”

£50million has been made available by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

The UK-wide fund addresses both immediate emergency actions and helps organisations to start thinking about recovery.

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 £600 million 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.