More than £200,000 has been given to west Dorset cultural organisations so that they can survive the financial struggles caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Theatres, museums, orchestras, and music venues will benefit from the government's Culture Recovery Fund grants programme.

Four local organisations – including Bridport Museum and Lyme Regis Museum – will share a total of £204,000.

Lyme Regis Museum will receive £60,000 to ensure its sustainability going forward.

David Tucker, director of Lyme Regis Museum, said: “It's been a very tense time for all charities so we're so pleased to now be in a relatively strong position.

“Since we reopened we've only been able to let around 50 per cent of our usual custom in.

"This grant gives us as much security as we can possibly hope for that we can get through the financial crisis caused by the pandemic. The fund makes us masters of our own destiny.

"We can continue to do what we’re here to do, which is to educate and entertain people with the stories of this town – so we’re very pleased."

Bridport Museum receives £50,000, which will support the organisation as it reopens and adjusts to the current government restrictions.

Emily Hicks, director of Bridport Museum, said: “We were so relieved and grateful to receive the funds.

“We were only able to open last week since we’re very reliant on volunteers to open. Although museums were able to open in July, we didn't, so the money will help to recover from the funds lost over that period.

“We consider ourselves an integral part of the culture, museums like ours are a really essential part of the local community as well as the economy.

“The fund is helping us to continue to survive and hopefully to do more going forward."

Stuff and Nonsense, a nationally touring theatre group which operates out of the Lyric Theatre in Bridport, has received £94,000. A portion of the funds will go towards supporting artists who have struggled during the pandemic.

Niki McCretton, artistic director at Stuff and Nonsense, said: “ I would like to thank the many people who helped us to apply for this grant. It is a lifeline and a huge relief to know that Stuff and Nonsense and The Lyric Theatre can continue to plan, create work for artists and find ways to bring theatre and art to our communities during this challenging next six months and into the years ahead.”

Past Participate has been awarded £25,000 to study the archaeological material already excavated by volunteers at Tenants Hill, near Kingston Russell/Long Bredy, and identify and assess new and safe ways to deliver engagement opportunities for older people.