A 'MASSIVE lifeline' grant of more than £180,000 will help a historic Bromsgrove museum continue to battle the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, in Stoke Heath, has been awarded £183,943 through the Government's £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The 19-acre museum was forced to ask the public for donations earlier this year after being forced to close for several months by the Covid lockdown.

But they were handed more than £140,000 by the National Lottery Emergency Heritage Fund in July and had more good news this week after learning their application to the Arts Council had succeeded.

The museum's acting deputy director, Nick Sturgess, said that without the cash there had been a strong danger Avoncroft could have closed permanently.

Of the new grant, he told the Advertiser: "It's a massive lifeline to us because for a lot of the year we've had no money coming in.

"We would have had some serious issues without these grants and without the generous donations we have had from the public too."

Avoncroft re-opened in July and remains open to the public three days a week - Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays - but its income remains way down compared to a normal year.

They have had to cancel all their big events, as well as weddings, although they are at least able to replace this month's usual Halloween spectacular with a 'Ghost Night'.

The museum's monthly overheads exceed £8,000 and Mr Sturgess admitted: "Going forward we might again have to ask the public if they can help fund certain aspects of operations."

Altogether, more than £333m has been awarded to culture venues nationwide by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back.

"Trough Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.

“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England added: "We are delighted the Culture Recovery Fund has enabled support for a wide range of arts and cultural sector companies like Avoncroft.

“The government’s package is hugely welcome, providing much of the sector with resources to remain in business through to the spring.

"This is welcome news not only for those in receipt of the funding but also for communities."