Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust given £500,000 emergency funding

The Black Country Living Museum and Town Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham have also been granted major funding.

Blists Hill Victorian Town is part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums which has been given £500,000
Blists Hill Victorian Town is part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums which has been given £500,000

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has been given £500,000 of emergency funding to help it survive the impact of coronavirus.

The trust, which runs 10 museums in the gorge including Blists Hill and Enginuity, has been given the money from Arts Council England's Emergency Response Fund.

In total 196 organisations - including 24 in the Midlands - have benefited from more than £33m of the Arts Council's emergency money.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham received £300,000, the Black Country Living Museum more than £1 million and Birmingham Repertory Theatre £540,489.

It's been a tough year the Ironbridge museums which were badly affected by the flooding in February and then forced to close in March before being able to finish the clean-up operation.

Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and The Iron Bridge Tollhouse all reopened on Saturday.

"The funding we've received today is a real boost for us and we're so grateful to Arts Council England," a spokesman for the museum trust said.

"We still need additional support to ensure the museum's future and have launched our Keep Ironbridge Running fundraising appeal at Do come and visit us soon."

The £33m funding given to museums, cultural centres and groups is part of an overall emergency package worth £160 million that the Arts Council announced it would be giving to artists, groups and organisations shortly after the lockdown was introduced in March.

Other beneficiaries include the Midlands Arts Centre in Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham Open Media and the Geese Theatre Company, also based in Birmingham, and Newhampton Arts Centre in Wolverhampton.

Meanwhile on Monday the Government announced a further £1.57 billion support package to “protect” the future of Britain’s museums, galleries and theatres.

The £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million of grants.

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