WORDSLEY'S Lace Guild has been able to create an accessible one-way route through its Audnam museum so it can open safely as Covid restrictions ease, thanks to a grant from an environmental trust.

The Lace Guild, in the Glass Quarter, is the UK's largest lace organisation and hosts a large collection of lace and associated artefacts, plus a comprehensive library with information about the craft of lacemaking and its history.

However, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic the museum’s small interior has made it difficult for the Guild to welcome its usual number of visitors due to social distancing requirements.

But thanks to a £3,500 grant from Enovert Community Trust - Guild members have been able to convert the wheelchair access at the rear of the building, known as The Hollies, into the museum’s primary entrance to allow a one-way passage through the building.

The new accessible route will ensure wheelchair users can gain access to the exhibitions and will keep all visitors safe as they pass through the museum following the one-way system.

Mary Coleman, honorary assistant curator at the Lace Guild Museum, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the museum and believe the one-way system will make everyone comfortable as they enjoy our displays. "We would like to thank the trustees of Enovert Community Trust for their support and are excited to see the benefits of the work as the museum reopens.”

A few improvements have also been made to the museum’s appearance and existing fencing replaced, thanks to the grant.

Angela Haymonds, trust secretary of Enovert Community Trust, said: “It has been a difficult year for the Lace Guild museum as Covid-19 has forced them to close and restricted access for their visitors. The trustees were delighted to have the opportunity to support the organisation and introduce a safe and accessible route through the museum.

“We hope that visitors will enjoy the improvements in the coming months as the museum opens up and that the project will increase the number of people that can access the fantastic lace collections while social distancing measures are still in place.”

Enovert Community Trust provided its grant through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF), a tax credit scheme that enables landfill operators to contribute money to a range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of landfill sites.

As restrictions start to ease, the Lace Guild museum will open for three days a week from May 19 - in addition to monthly Saturday openings.

To find out more go to laceguild.org.