A South Tyneside tourist attraction has been forced to close due to ‘financial pressures’.
Bede’s World in Jarrow – which celebrates the life and times of the Venerable Bede – was closed to the public today and the farm’s animals were removed.
Mike Smith, chairman of the board of trustees, said that while it’s unclear how long the museum - which is ran by a charitable trust that has now gone into liquidation, will be closed - the aim is for it to reopen again in the future.It;s thought up to 27 people have now lost their jobs.
Mr Smith said: “Bede’s World has closed so it can reopen in the future under new leadership and continue to deliver a service to the community and promote the works of Bede.
“It’s had to close because of financial pressures and it’s sad that this has had to happen, but we’re looking to new beginnings and a new approach to achieve a sustainable future.”
It’s hoped than an outside investor will get help finance the Church Bank museum which leases its buildings and land from South Tyneside Council.
The popular site was used by many of the borough’s schools for educational lessons.
The museum was also home to a number of animals, including donkeys, sheep and pigs, to replicate the types of livestock seen in an Anglo Saxon settlement.
Mr Smith said: “The animals are being cared for on site and provisions have been made for them, there’s no concerns for their welfare.”
A South Tyneside Councl spokesperson said: “Despite receiving substantial support from South
Tyneside Council, Bede’s World is closing. This is because it is not currently financially viable and the charitable trust which managed the attraction has gone into liquidation.
“We can confirm that ownership of the land and buildings will revert to the council under the terms of the existing leases.
“The council is currently looking at a range of options for the site, and most importantly, to find a more affordable way to keep the facility open in the long term for the people of South Tyneside to enjoy.”