RENEWED interest in the famous writing family has driven a huge increase in visitors to the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum saw visitor numbers increase by 10 per cent, from just under 80,000 in 2016 to almost 88,000 in 2017.

And the Brontë Society, which administers the museum, saw its admissions income grow by over20 per cent during 2017. This follows an increase of over 15 per cent in 2016 over 2015.

Analysis of visitor data revealed that a quarter of visitors to the museum were from overseas and a quarter from Yorkshire, with the rest from across the UK.

Last year was the second in the Brontë Society’s five-year festival marking the bicentenaries of each of the Brontë siblings.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Emily Brontë, as well as the 125th anniversary of the society and the 90th anniversary of the opening of the museum in Church Street.

The 200th anniversaries of the births of Charlotte and Branwell were commemorated in 2016 and 2017. Next year will be devoted to father Patrick’s appointment as Haworth clergyman in 1819, and Anne Brontë’s 200th birthday brings the celebrations to a close in 2020.

The Rev Peter Mayo-Smith, the Brontë Society treasurer, said the ongoing bicentennial festival continued to have a positive impact both in numbers visiting and spending.

He said: “Our ambitions for the organisation, coupled with good governance, sound financial management and carefully managed investment of reserves, saw us accepted into the Arts Council’s National Portfolio.

“ACE’s investment in the Society of almost £1million over the next four years will also help the organisation to attract further funding and opportunities for growth.”

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