VOLUNTEERS have pledged to do their bit to try and save an historic local museum.
And they hope their efforts will help Kirklees Council save the Red House Museum, which was the setting for a Charlotte Brontë novel.
Kirklees Council said campaigners should be given six months to come up with a new business plan for the “historically important” Red House Museum in Gomersal, Cleckheaton.
Kirklees Council must save £64m a year from its budget and intimated that closure of the museum was one option to help reduce costs.
But after concerns about the proposals, Clr Mehboob Khan, leader of the council, said savings could be made by introducing admission charges, reduced opening hours and letting out the building for functions.
The new plan would generate income and save running costs to the figure of £116,000, the council said.
Campaigner Imelda Marsden said volunteers from Spen Valley Civic Society, the Brontë Society and other groups would form Friends of Red House to help with fundraising and maintaining the museum.
Ms Marsden said if Red House was sold it would be a huge loss to the social history of the area and to tourism in Yorkshire.
“It’s not just the Brontë and Taylor links but the history of the textile industry and the Luddites,” she said.
Built in 1660, Red House was home to a family of cloth merchants and manufacturers.
Mary Taylor, who lived in the house in the 19th Century, is considered an early feminist and was a close friend of Charlotte Brontë.
Charlotte Brontë’s second novel, Shirley, is about the Luddite uprisings in the Yorkshire textile industry during the industrial depression of 1811-12, and much of it is set at the house.
The proposals to keep the museum open under a new business plan will be voted on at a full council meeting on February 22.