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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Update from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - 26 June 2020

We are delighted that Shakespeare’s Birthplace in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon reopened its doors to visitors on Saturday, 1 August, 2020, after being closed for more than four months due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We can’t wait to welcome you. 

Regrettably the other four Shakespeare family homes and gardens — Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare's New Place, Hall’s Croft and Mary Arden’s Farm —  will remain closed until at least spring 2021.  The Shakespeare Centre also remains closed for the immediate future.  While these sites won’t be open to the public they will continue to be protected and conserved until their doors open once again.

While social distancing is quite rightly in place, while visitor confidence and behaviour are understandably uncertain and while the future impact of COVID-19 is unknown, reopening all of our historic properties would cost more than keeping them closed.  We are opening Shakespeare's Birthplace because it is central to our nation's heritage, to our national and regional tourism economy, and to our mission as the independent charity which preserves Shakespeare's legacy for the benefit of the nation.

Reopening Shakespeare’s Birthplace has been made possible with the help of emergency funding from Arts Council England.  This is an important first step on the Trust’s journey of survival and recovery. While our charity has many challenges ahead and times remain uncertain, we are determined to take a lead in championing the UK’s culture and heritage by sharing Shakespeare’s work, life and times both physically and online through our Museum from Home content.

We urgently need support to ensure the survival of our charity. The Trust is an independent charity that normally generates 98% of its own income, dependent on its ability to welcome 850,000 visitors each year. The Trust’s historic sites, shops and cafes have been closed since 17 March due to coronavirus, with a resulting loss of almost 90% of income.

We are very grateful for every donation, large or small, to help us to conserve the priceless Shakespearian heritage in our care and ensure that we stand ready to re-open all of our historic properties, our collections and our programmes once more. Please support us if you can.

All of the Trust's income is reinvested in the ongoing conservation of and access to the heritage and collections in its care, and in delivering rich learning resources and programmes for people of every age and stage of interest, including the award-winning Shakespeare Week programme involving more than 2 million primary school children a year across the UK.

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