A CAMPAIGN to turn the birthplace of the Bronte sisters into a new attraction and community space has received a major boost.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced a £240,000 grant.

Campaigners behind the Bronte Birthplace scheme have been attempting to raise enough cash to take on and transform the Thornton terraced property.

Plans were approved in the autumn to turn the house into a community facility and holiday lets.

The Bronte Birthplace group intends creating space for workshops, events and visits by schools and literary organisations.

Also, the property's bedrooms will be restored to how they'd have looked during the family’s time there, and converted into holiday lets.

The Government cash – from the Community Ownership Fund – will essentially secure the project, which has already raised over £300,000 through crowdfunding and other grants.

Crista Ackroyd, one of the campaigners, says: "What wonderful news.

"Our dream is now a reality – this grant means that with everyone's help, we have done it."

Haworth is famous worldwide as the home of the Brontes – people flock to the village from across the globe to visit the parsonage where the siblings lived and wrote their classic works, and to walk on the moors that inspired them.

But before they moved to Haworth in 1820, Patrick and Maria Bronte lived at the Thornton property and Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne were all born there.

Latterly the premises have been operating as a cafe, which will be retained.

In a statement announcing its funding, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said the scheme would "add a new dimension to the story of the Bronte family in the Bradford district".

It added: "The project will enhance connections between the birthplace and the Bronte Bell Chapel both in Thornton, and the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth.

"The funding will help refurbish the birthplace building so it can offer four short-term letting rooms for visitors, and to artists, writers and heritage professionals.

"It will also help provide a cafe for use by local people and visitors, and create a community events space where schools sessions, community workshops, performances and celebrations can take place.

"The organisation will work with the local college, university and community groups to develop tourist packages, comprising walking tours in Bronte country – a full Bradford 2025 cultural experience making the birthplace a tourist hub for the village."