Bluesky International has stepped in to help preserve historical local pictures from its neighbourhood’s past.

The aerial mapping company offered to make a donation to Ashby-de-la-Zouch Museum after it emerged that the volunteer-led organisation was facing a financial challenge.

The situation emerged after North West Leicestershire District Council announced a proposal to withdraw its £1,500 annual grant to the museum.

It was part of a wider range of cost savings required to balance the authority’s budget for 2024-25.

The authority ultimately decided to defer the decision to cut the grant this year.

Ashby-based firm Bluesky had originally offered to make up the shortfall from the authority’s grant by giving the museum £1,500. It has now confirmed it will still make the donation.

The company employs 100 people in the UK, US and India and is headquartered in Ashby’s Grade II-listed former railway station in Station Road.

Rachel Tidmarsh, Chief Executive at Bluesky International, said: “We feel very much part of our community and, in the pictures, we saw a link between the work of the museum and our own.

“We work at the leading-edge of aerial imagery and data, and it seemed fitting to help preserve the historical imagery displayed at the museum.

“We’re also aware that, being based in an historic building in Ashby ourselves, it’s important to invest in maintaining the fabric of our community.

“We’re really pleased to have been able to help the museum and play another small part in preserving Ashby’s local history.

Kenneth Hillier is one of 50 volunteers from the independent museum, which was set up in 1982 and which houses a collection of more than 3,000 photographs.

“We are delighted by the donation from Bluesky, it’s a life-saver for us, we need the money for survival,” he said.

“We were worried about losing the grant from the council because our costs have continued to spiral, such as our utility bills.

“We’d like to thank Bluesky for stepping in to help us – they identified the importance of the museum and we are thankful for that.

“There is a link between the museum and Bluesky, because they take aerial photographs and we have a collection of old aerial photographs of Ashby, some taken in the Second World War by the RAF.

“It’s a synergy between modern day technology and the town’s heritage.”

Mr Hillier added that while the council has provided funding for this year, it is likely that this will be again reviewed next year.