Torquay Museum has been saved from the immeidate threat of closure - thanks to a £25,000 lifeline from Torbay Council.
After initial fears that the Covid-19 crisis might bring down the curtain on 175 years of exhibits at the museum, a Crowdfunding campaign and the £25,000 grant has staved off the immediate threat of extinction.
Like many businesses, the museum will still have to overcome challenges in the months ahead but the council cash and kindness from the community has given them a path to survival.
“We launched the Crowdfunding campaign around three weeks ago and we have already raised over £10,000 toward the target of £25,000,” said Basil Greenwood, director of Torquay Museum.
“One of the reasons we launched the campaign was that we didn’t think we were eligible for any of the grants from the council, mainly because our rateable value exceeded the criteria.
“We maintained our dialogue with the council and it is wonderful news that we did receive the grant because it is definitely needed. A lot of our income stems from admissions, retail sales, the shop, donations and the café, which has obviously all stopped since March.
“The impact of the lockdown was very serious for the museum and this input of finance basically means the emergency is over, for now. We have a future to look forward to and we will be reopening the doors on July 22.
“The focus for now is looking at all the measures we need to put in place to meet the new guidelines. We will introduce a one-way system, install perspex screens and a booking platform to control the numbers inside the musuem.
“It all costs money and one of the things we’ve had to put on hold was the exhibition to celebrate our 175th anniversary, which will now be staged next year.
“However, we are quickly organising smaller exhibitions with further information on our website very soon.”