Historic Sheffield museum warns it could close due to lack of funds in coronavirus crisis
The National Emergency Services Museum on West Bar is appealing for donations after fears the organisation could permanently close.
The historic Sheffield museum has warned they could have to close their doors for good if they fail to secure urgent donations – after the Covid-19 outbreak forced them to shut temporarily.
The self-funded National Emergency Services Museum (NESM) on West Bar saw its income from visitors, events and outreach activities stop overnight in March when the nation went into lockdown.
After the NESM was turned down for emergency coronavirus funding the organisation set up a fundraising campaign in order to sustain the museum.
But the foundation has fallen short of its £10,000 target and only raised £2,690 through public donations.
National Emergency Services Museum chief executive Matthew Wakefield said: “Following the PM's statement this week, we now know we are likely to remain closed until July at the very earliest.
“At this moment we have enough funds in the bank to survive until mid-June.
“This means that without additional support our wonderful museum and its collection could be lost.
“This would be devastating for us all and would see a treasure trove of emergency services history without a home at a time when we are all rightly celebrating the amazing work they do.”
The museum houses nearly a million objects, including unique vintage vehicles that document centuries of emergency services history – which could be lost forever if they close.
The foundation is appealing for people to donate to their fundraising page to ensure the museum’s future.
“We know that many people are struggling at this time and that it's a big ask for people to donate, but every penny will help”, Matthew added.
“We are a small team of staff and volunteers who love our museum and our collection, and we're trying to stay really positive and plan for the day when we can reopen.
“We're determined to do everything we can to make sure that we continue to be the guardians of emergency services history and celebrate these amazing people.”
To find out more information about how you can help email [email protected]