Birmingham museums fail in bid for ACE rescue cash

Birmingham’s museums and galleries are appealing to the public for help after failing to secure a grant from Arts Council England’s £160m Emergency Response Fund, set up to help cultural institutions survive to the end of September.

Birmingham Museums Trust, which manages Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (pictured) among others, said its sites would remain closed as they face “a particularly challenging time ahead”. It had lost 60% of its income since they closed in March, though a crowdfunding page has so far raised £14,000.

“When the current crisis is over Birmingham will need its museums more than ever. Museums contribute significantly to the local economy and to the vibrancy of the city. They also impact many people’s lives, from the schoolchildren who learn with us to the community groups we support” said the trust’s chairman, Niel de Vos, as he appealed to the public. “Please donate and help ensure they are still here to do this when we come through the other side.”

In a statement the trust said it would continue to work with stakeholders and major funders, including Birmingham City Council and ACE who provide regular funding every year to help us deliver our work.

“There is no doubt that this is a very challenging time for Birmingham Museums Trust, as it is for many cultural organisations” the statement ran. “The impact of closing our doors and the decreased footfall expected over the coming months ahead leaves us in a very difficult position. Our priority must be to secure the long-term financial sustainability of the trust so we can be there for our audiences for many years to come, but we will need support to do this.

“At this stage we face a very uncertain future. We are asking the public to support us if they can.”

The trust’s group comprises the Museum & Art Gallery, Think Tank, Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House and Weoley Castle.To donate, visit: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/support-us

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