STAFF at the Brontë Parsonage Museum could lose their jobs after Covid-19 caused a five-month closure and badly hit its revenues.

The Brontë Society this week told staff at the Haworth museum that it was entering a period of consultation which might lead to redundancies.

The society said last month's reopening after the longest period of closure in the museum's 92-year-old history was a "significant and positive" step in its recovery but was not enough to solve its problems.

The society said: "As over 70% of the Brontë Society’s income comes from admissions, events and retail, being closed during the busy spring and summer season has had a devastating financial impact on the organisation.

"Recovery will be slow and the Society is forecasting a significant reduction in visitor numbers and associated income into 2021."

The Brontë Society, one of the world's oldest literary societies, said it was making use of all available support, including the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which continued to subsidise staffing costs.

A spokesman said: "We are very grateful to have been awarded a grant from Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund, which enabled us to reopen the museum.

"Additional income has been raised via a fundraising campaign, a digital events programme and a membership drive

"However, it is painfully evident, that for the Brontë Parsonage Museum to survive, the charity needs to significantly cut costs further.

"It is with great reluctance that we have therefore notified our staff of our intention to enter a period of consultation with them, which may lead to redundancies."

Trish Gurney, chairman of the Brontë Society Board of Trustees, said: “We are very sad to be in this position, but difficult decisions are now necessary in order for the charity to survive.

"Our staff are experienced, talented and dedicated individuals who care deeply about our collections and sharing the Bronte legacy, and we are committed to supporting them during this painful and distressing time.

"We would like to thank everyone who has supported us during recent months by becoming a member of the Society, purchasing from our online shop or donating to our Just Giving campaign.

"We are determined to overcome the challenges of the immediate and longer-term future so that our world-class collections can continue to inspire generations of visitors and audiences.”