The future of the Brontë Parsonage Museum is at risk following an estimated loss of £500,000 during lockdown, the Brontë Society has said.
The museum is now reopening to the public but, despite receiving funding from Arts Council England's Emergency Response fund, is facing an end-of-year deficit of £100,000.
The Brontë Society, which runs the museum, has launched a JustGiving page to raise funds, saying: "The Brontë Parsonage Museum, and the Brontë family who lived there, are loved and admired by people all over the world. This was evident last autumn, when over 1,000 supporters helped us to purchase a rare Charlotte Brontë 'little book' at auction. We remain touched by, and enormously grateful for, the huge volume of donations and messages of encouragement we received.
"When we shared the precious manuscript with our first visitors of the season on 1st February, little did we know that we would have to close our doors again just a few weeks later. Our primary income streams dried up overnight. Devastatingly, this has put the museum's future at risk and so, regrettably, we need to ask for your support again. Please can you help us ensure we will still be here next year?"
A #Brontë2020 online festival will run on 4th September to raise funds for the appeal. The festival is being organised by academics Dr Claire O'Callaghan of Loughborough University and Dr Sarah Fanning from Mount Allison University in Canada, and is planned to cater for Brontë fans on both sides of the Atlantic.