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Sheffield Museums due to reopen

Two of Sheffield’s most popular museums are set to welcome back visitors this month.

The Millennium Gallery from Arundel Gate
Andy Brown (Wikimedia Commons)

Weston Park Museum and the Millennium Gallery are due to reopen their doors on Monday 17 August after closing for five months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Weston Park Museum will have plenty on offer including a brand new gallery called Sheffield Stories which celebrates the city’s people and life during the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

The gallery’s first displays have been developed in partnership with residents from the South East of Sheffield and will bring together photographs, toys, fashion, mementos and more.

Meanwhile at the Millennium Gallery, visitors will be able to enjoy the Metalwork and Ruskin Collection displays, as well as the Nomadic Tales exhibition from local artist, Richard Bartle.

Then from Saturday 12 September till Sunday 1 November, the popular Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth exhibition returns, showcasing work by the likes of Rembrandt, Rubens and van Dyck.

Kim Streets, Chief Executive of Museums Sheffield said: “We can’t wait to welcome visitors back - it will be fantastic to see people come through the doors and bring the museum back to life again.

“Keeping everyone safe is our number one priority and we’ve spent the last few months making sure we have all the right measures in place so everyone can visit with confidence.

“Over the coming weeks we’ll be listening to visitor feedback and continuing to review and update our procedure in accordance with developing Public Health England guidance.”

Both museums will initially be opening from 11am - 3pm every day and although walk-up visits may be available, booking is strongly advised to guarantee entry and help support NHS Track & Trace.

Visitors will be asked to wear face masks, maintain social distancing, follow one way routes in certain areas and enter and leave via separate entrances if required.

There will also be hand sanitiser available throughout the museums, an enhanced cleaning regime throughout the day and adapted air handling systems to improve ventilation.

Mappin Art Gallery Sheffield
Oosoom (Wikimedia Commons)

Dressing up costumes and some interactive activities may be removed for a while to reduce the rate of transmission and anything bought from the gift shop must be paid for by card.

The Ambulo café in each venue is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday 1 September initially with a limited menu and with an extended outdoor space at the Millennium Gallery to allow for social distancing.

Museums Sheffield have also said that the Graves Gallery is due to reopen with the rest of the Central Library in the coming weeks, with the announcement of a reopening date expected soon.

The closure of the sites for five months has also had a significant impact on Museums Sheffield, which is a charity that has generated 39% of its income every year.

Kim Streets added: “Like organisations across the country, we’ve been hit hard by the closure period, losing any income we’d normally raise through our shops, cafés, commercial hire and the generous donations of our visitors.

“We’re doing all we can to reopen safely so visitors can feel confident in returning. Every pound they spend in our shops or are able to give via our contactless donation stations will make a huge difference in helping safeguard the city’s museums and galleries.”

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