The Story Museum’s popular outdoor family walks are restarting, in line with the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.

The Pembroke Street attraction features new permanent galleries inspired by iconic children’s books, illustrations and stories.

Originally due to open in April 2020 following a £6m revamp, the museum was forced to postpone its reopening until October as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Story Museum courtyard Picture: Diane Auckland

The Story Museum courtyard Picture: Diane Auckland

The story walks will start on Tuesday.

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Children’s courses are resuming on site with a special week of story-based activities in the museum’s new galleries to coincide with the school Easter holidays.

CEO Caroline Jones said: “We’re so happy to be able to welcome families back this April.

“Although our galleries can’t open to the public until step 3 of the coronavirus roadmap in May, we’re delighted to be taking the first steps towards reopening by restarting our children’s courses and our outdoor storywalks.

“The last few months have been hard for everyone but it really feels that spring is in the air and we can now turn over a new page in the story.”

The museum is also celebrating the news released on Friday that it has been awarded further funding through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

This funding has played a crucial role in enabling the museum to survive periods of prolonged closure and severe restrictions on ticket income over the past 12 months.

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Ms Jones added: “It would be hard to imagine a story with more unexpected twists in the plot.

Outside the Story Museums courtyard

Outside the Story Museum's courtyard

“We couldn’t have weathered the Covid-19 storm without the support from emergency funding streams such as the Culture Recovery Fund and the sheer tenacity of our team.

“And now we’re all hoping that we can chart a course to smoother waters ahead, once our galleries reopen later in May.”

May 17 has been given as a date for public museums and galleries to reopen.

At the museum, the Enchanted Library invites visitors to step inside iconic scenes lifted from the pages of children’s books - to emerge through the wardrobe in The Chronicles of Narnia, cut through the parallel realms of His Dark Materials, explore Noughts and Crosses dystopian London or take a flight with The Snowman.

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The long-running campaign to transform the site into a major new centre for stories has benefitted from a number of grants.

This includes support from Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Wolfson Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, with investment from the Arts Impact Fund through Nesta Arts & Culture Finance and donations from generous individuals.

Tish Francis at The Story Museum

Tish Francis at The Story Museum

The museum’s work is also supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Oxford City Council.

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Funding from Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund, the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and a number of other funders over the past 12 months has been vital in helping the museum survive a 70 per cent reduction in income, due to the delay in reopening and the reduced footfall.