Birmingham Museums Trust seeks public support as emergency funding bid rejected

The charity which manages some of Birmingham’s best loved museums is seeking public support after failing to secure emergency funding from Arts Council England (ACE).

Birmingham Museums Trust says it faces a “particularly challenging time ahead” as its sites remain closed, including Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Soho House and Aston Hall.

The charity says it has lost 60% of its income – from its cafes, ticket sales, and shops, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has set up a crowdfunding page which has so far raised more than £14,000.

Niels de Vos, chair of Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “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.

“Please donate and help ensure they are still here to do this when we come through the other side. Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far.”

In a statement, the Trust, said: “Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful in our application to the Arts Council England (ACE) Emergency Response Fund. This fund had a very specific purpose to help organisations survive through to the end of September 2020.

“We continue to work closely with all our stakeholders and major funders, including the 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 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.

“The announcement of the Government’s support package for the sector is very welcome news. This industry makes a significant contribution to the economy and impacts many people’s lives – it must be protected. We await more details on this funding, but we hope to benefit in some way. This will be crucial for us to rebuild for the future.

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

To donate, visit: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/support-us

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