Manx National Heritage says more of its sites will be open, after it received emergency funding from the government’s Economic Recovery Group.
The Examiner reported last week that several of MNH’s key sites were closed, due to funding issues in the wake of the Covid-19 border restrictions, which saw plummeting visitor numbers.
Laxey Wheel, Peel Castle, Cregneash and the Grove Museum will now be open again on a regular basis, and Castletown and Peggy site tours will also recommence.
MNH told the Examiner: ’With borders closed until recently, there has been insufficient demand and admission income to sustain regular opening of many of the island-wide sites.
’In addition, MNH’s annual grant from Isle of Man government has been significantly reduced this year with the island’s economy stretched in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
’The opening of the heritage sites has, unfortunately, been one of the key casualties of this reduced funding.’
Retiring director Edmund Southworth, who served his last day in the role on Friday, the day that the new funding was secured, said: ’I am delighted to be retiring on such a positive note for MNH and that our sites will now be able to play their part in the island’s visitor economy recovery.
’There is strong demand currently for the Isle of Man from both the travel trade and independent tourists alike, and the culture and heritage of the Island is a big part of that appeal.
’I cannot stress enough the importance of heritage to the island’s tourism offer and the significant income that incoming visitors generate for local accommodation providers, cafes, restaurants and other businesses.
’This emergency funding will be multiplied in value many times over.’