PLANS to celebrate 200 years since the birth of Charlotte Bronte have been given a major cash boost of nearly £100,000.

The Brontë Society’s contemporary arts programme has been awarded a grant of £99,178 by the Arts Council of England.

The grant will offer a much welcomed helping hand to the upcoming celebrations of Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary year.

As well as its museum role, Haworth's Brontë Parsonage is home to a contemporary arts programme which celebrates the radical nature of the Brontës and the ways in which they have inspired successive generations of artists and writers.

The programme commissions and showcases new artistic responses to the Brontës from creative people working today.

The grant announced this month has come from The Arts Council’s Lottery-funded programme ‘Grants for the Arts’, which helps both individuals and organisations who use arts in their work.

The grants on offer range from £1,000 to £100,000 and are made available to support a range of talents including visual arts, writers and performing arts.

A spokesman for the Brontë Parsonage Museum says the funding will allow it to deliver an ambitious programme of events and exhibitions during 2015 and 2016.

Jenna Holmes, who is arts officer at the Brontë Parsonage, said: “This is really excellent news for the museum’s contemporary arts programme, and the exciting work we are planning for the next two years.

"The funding will support new commissions of contemporary art and we will be inviting a major writer to curate a programme of activity for Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary.

"We are currently working on an extensive range of projects and activity at the museum to include exhibitions, performances, readings and residencies, and we look forward to releasing further details shortly”.

The parsonage's contemporary arts programme was first launched in 2007. The museum has since hosted a wide variety of projects and programmes, including exhibitions by Paula Rego, Cornelia Parker and Sam Taylor-Wood, and events with high profile writers such as Carol Ann Duffy, Tracy Chevalier and Victoria Hislop.

A calendar of events and exhibitions for the 2015 – 2016 programme is to be made public in the near future.