THE district's historic museums and attractions are facing an uncertain future in light of the coronavirus pandemic, chiefs warn.

The director of Bradford Police Museum has made an impassioned plea for donations and support, almost one month exactly since closing its City Hall doors.

The independent museum, which operates as a registered charity and relies entirely on donations, small grants, and volunteers to run, had anticipated a bumper Spring and Summer season following a revamp of its visitor offer.

It had also prepared a series of fully-booked ‘ghost tours’ and special group visits, all of which have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Dr Martin Baines QPM, director of Bradford Police Museum, has written to trustees and supporters of the museum to outline its position.

And this isn't the only museum worried about the road ahead.

The director of Keighley & Worth Valley railway has also spoken of financial pressures that could throttle its entire operation.

Although staff wages are likely to be covered in the main by the government's 'furlough' scheme, the railway will not benefit from last week's announcement of government funding for charities hit by the pandemic.

KWVR chairman Matt Stroh said: "The railway has had to be essentially mothballed until such time as the restrictions are lifted.

"Without income, cash reserves are disappearing fast, and the railway needs help to survive as the fantastic example of living history that it is today.

"These are unprecedented times for the Bronte Country line and without the help of supporters we will struggle to keep the railway as a leading Yorkshire attraction. If many people give whatever they can afford, it would make a huge difference to us."

In response to the challenges, the railway has launched the "Worth Saving" appeal, part of new emergency measures to save the iconic five-mile line.

Mr Stroh said donations of any size would be hugely appreciated from the volunteer team at the KWVR, and would go "that step further" to protecting its future.

Noel Hartley, operations manager of the railway, said the KWVR would not benefit from the government's charity support because this was designed for organisations providing front line support during the Covid 19 crisis.

Keighley town mayor Peter Corkindale said he wholeheartedly supported the Worth Saving appeal and hoped there was a good response from the public.

He added: "I would encourage the Chancellor of the Exchequer to include such worthy organisations as in his calculations. I don't think the importance of the railway to the town and surrounding area can be over-estimated.

"When you're sitting sitting in an office in Westminster you may not think of railways, but it's something that's loved by the people and it's something we don't want to lose."

The call for help comes at the same time that the chair of the Association of Independent Museums has warned that it was “inevitable” that some independent museums would close permanently as a result of Coronavirus.

Dr Baines said: “Understandably, the main focus for everyone at the moment is beating this dreadful virus, and I pay tribute to our emergency services and key-workers on the frontline.

“As trustees of a popular Bradford city centre attraction, it’s our duty to have an eye on the future for when some normality can resume, and we want to make sure that the Police Museum is able to fully open its doors again when the time comes.

“Our volunteers and trustees have been brilliant at finding ways to keep the museum alive online throughout this crisis, and we’ll be showing off a lot of our world-class collection on Facebook and Twitter over the coming weeks, and we’re now sharing our stories on YouTube too.

“We would really value donations or other offers of help to safeguard our future.”