Managers at the Bronte Society are confident of boosting visitor admissions to the Parsonage Museum after new figures revealed they dipped to under 70,000 last year.
The year saw a seven per cent drop in admissions from 73,830 in 2013 to 69,503 during a tumultuous 12 months which saw the departure of several key people including director Ann Sumner.
However, the Society claimed the drop in visitors was caused by the late reopening of the Museum following the relocation of the admissions area. Russell Watson, honorary treasurer of the Society, who has written to members ahead of the annual meeting on June 6, said: “The operating income of the Society is heavily dependent on the number of visitors to the Parsonage Museum. In 2014 the Museum did not reopen until the third week in February due to the reconfiguration of the admissions area. “Visitor admissions started slowly after this late opening, although they picked up later in the year.” [...] Finance manager, Clare Dewhirst, is expecting visitors to increase as important bicentenaries approach. She said: “Although the 2014 accounts show a small decline in visitor numbers, this is largely attributable to the fact that we opened later than usual in 2014 due to the improvement and relocation of the admissions area. “Our general admissions income for the year exceeded budget, which was due in part to the increase in visitor participation in the Government Gift Aid scheme. “We look forward to welcoming more visitors to the Museum in the coming months and years ahead as we prepare for the bicentenaries of each of the Bronte siblings.” (Andrew Robinson)