The National Lottery provides £40,000 to help Torquay Museum re-open

Torquay Museum

Torquay Museum - Credit: Archant

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began Torquay Museum has been closed and almost all the staff have been furloughed.

Colonel Charles Burn sitting in a carriage outside the Grand Hotel in December, 1910 (PR6623)

Colonel Charles Burn sitting in a carriage outside the Grand Hotel in December, 1910 (PR6623) - Credit: Archant

We now have the major task of trying to reopen the museum in a way that is safe for visitors and staff.

Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can support the staff's wages when we reopen.

We're grateful that the National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it's a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all. 

The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund's Heritage Emergency Fund - £50million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

Arrival of replica of Golden Hind, April 1962 (PR7735)

Arrival of replica of Golden Hind, April 1962 (PR7735) - Credit: Archant

The UK-wide fund will address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: 'Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

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'Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as Torquay Museum during this uncertain time.' 

The museum has had an overwhelming response on social media following the good news. We have received many positive comments and good wishes from as far as New Zealand!

Torquay United FC, also known as The Gulls, 1959 (PR26482)

Torquay United FC, also known as The Gulls, 1959 (PR26482) - Credit: Archant

Andrew Ian Lovett, chairman of the Association of Independent Museums, tweeted: 'Good luck with planning the museum's route out and recovery.'

'Fantastic news!' came from Prof Stephen Rippon, Exeter University. And 'Great news in these difficult times,' said Richard Wakeman of The British Museum.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. 

The museum is very grateful for this help from the National Lottery, but even with this grant it still has utility bills, insurance and maintenance contracts to pay so will be launching a fundraising campaign soon.