Covid-19: Blists Hill Victorian Town to open late after 'lifeline' cash

image captionEvents are being planned for the autumn at the attraction

A Victorian-themed town in Shropshire will offer longer summer opening hours and autumn events to boost visitor numbers after lockdown restrictions.

The trust which runs Blists Hill Victorian Town is improving lighting at the site to make this possible.

Trust chief Nick Ralls said it would use some of its £1.1m emergency government funding for the project.

But he said most of the cash would go towards running its 10 museums which had been "hit hard" by the pandemic.

More than £32m went to organisations in the West Midlands region in the Culture Recovery Fund's latest round.

Bosses at the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust said the funding was a "lifeline" after the most challenging 12 months in its 48-year history.

It saw about 340,000 fewer visitors than expected last year, losing some £3m in revenue.

image captionThe town features Victorian characters in cottages, shops and workplaces

Blists Hill will reopen at weekends from 17 April, and some of its other attractions are also set to reopen.

Mr Ralls said: "I can tell you after a considerable time, we are really looking forward to seeing visitors again, because that's what brings these places alive.

"And we love explaining the story of why Ironbridge is such a cultural institution and part of our history."

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