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- Looking to the future

Events, reopening plans and an appeal
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The Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth has confirmed that it is planning to reopen its doors later this summer thanks to a successful application to Arts Council England’s Emergency Response funding package.  Like many museums and historic houses across the country, closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the organisation, which relies heavily on income from individual visitors, school groups and events.
The Brontë Society, the charity responsible for the museum, will use the money to cover the costs associated with reopening, such as upgrading of booking systems and compliance with Covid 19 guidelines, including the installation of protective screens.  However, the Museum leadership have warned that the future is still uncertain for the literary landmark, despite the promise of further government support for arts organisations across the country, as yet unallocated.
Trish Gurney, Chair of the Brontë Society Board of Trustees said, “We are extremely grateful for the funding awarded by Arts Council England via their emergency support package and would like to thank them and everyone who plays the National Lottery for a much-needed lifeline at this time.   The funds provided will be massively important to us in the immediate future as we prepare to welcome visitors back to the Parsonage later in the summer.  However, as we rely on the income we generate during the spring and summer months to sustain us through the quieter autumn and winter seasons, we are painfully aware that we will continue to face financial challenges for many months to come.  We know that the situation is dire for many, but we ask that lovers of the Brontës, their works and the Parsonage will consider supporting our Just Giving appeal to help ensure that once we reopen, we will remain open.”
To help bridge the gap currently left by the closure of the museum, this month the Society will launch The Brontë Lounge, a strand of live talks and in conversation events which will take place  on Zoom. The first event is on Thursday 16 July with author of ‘How To Be A Heroine’ and ‘Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life’ Samantha Ellis. Samantha will read from Take Courage and chat about all things Anne with host Helen Meller, who will also take questions from the audience. Future Brontë Lounge guests will include historical novelist Tracy Chevalier (‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’) and writer, journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed, who is also the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s creative partner for 2020.
Rebecca Yorke, Head of Communications said, “While the Museum has been closed, we’ve been heartened by the support shown to the Brontë Society by an uplift in membership subscriptions and retail sales from our online shop.  In addition, we are very excited about the launch of The Brontë Lounge, a new digital programme of talks and readings with writers and Brontë admirers.  We have been exploring ways of expanding our digital offer for some time, and while the current situation has presented us with some significant challenges, there are also opportunities to be seized and made the most of.  The Brontës overcame many obstacles in their short lives, and it is with their determination and spirit in mind, that we are reviewing what we do and how we do it, in order to increase our resilience and relevance and be around for many more years to come.”
Tracy Chevalier, novelist said, “I’m delighted to be one of the first guests in The Brontë Lounge. The Brontës are woven into the pattern of this nation’s literary life, and I am always happy to support the Brontë Parsonage Museum by talking about them.”
For more information on the Brontë Lounge or to support the Brontë Society and Just Giving appeal, visit or
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