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11Jun

Jane Austen museum under threat due to coronavirus

The heritage site where author wrote all her novels says it could be forced to close for ever because all of its operational budget comes from visitors

The house where Jane Austen completed all six of her novels and lived for the last eight years of her life, is at risk of closing before the end of the year due to the financial pressures of lockdown and is launching an appeal to secure its future.

Lizzie Dunford, director of Jane Austen’s House Museum, in Chawton, Hampshire, said it receives no regular public funding and is dependent on visitors and supporters. When the doors were closed on 20 March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the museum, which employs 16 staff and has 50 volunteers, lost all its income.

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