Norfolk Museums Service to reopen first three museums
16 July 2020
Norfolk Museums Service will begin a phased reopening in August, starting with its three largest sites: Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery.
Measures have been put in place to allow customers to use the museums safely and visit with confidence.
Time & Tide and Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse will open to the general public from Monday 3 August, with advanced booking required for entry. Tickets will become available on the Norfolk Museum Service website on 1st August.
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery will re-open later in August, with the exact dates still to be confirmed. Before that happens there will be a number of weddings taking place at the castle which have been arranged under the new government guidelines. Those arrangements are unaffected by this announcement.
The remaining seven sites that make up the Norfolk Museums Service will reopen when it is safe to do so.
Ahead of the public reopening, Museums Pass holders will be invited to book an early-access visit. This will begin at Time & Tide from Saturday 18 July and Gressenhall from Monday 20 July. This will allow the ticketing system and the social distancing measure to be evaluated with lower visitor numbers
Steve Miller, Director of Culture & Heritage at Norfolk County Council said: “Extensive preparation and planning has gone into our approach to reopening our museums. The sites we have chosen to reopen are those best suited to the social distancing and the safety measures we need to have in place.
“Once on site, clear signage will help guide visitors around the recommended one-way routes, and visitor services staff will be located at key points to help advise and guide visitors.
“While some areas of the museums will be closed to visitors where social distancing isn’t possible, the majority of the offer at Time and Tide and Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse will still be accessible.
“We very much look forward to welcoming visitors back to our sites – we know they’ve missed us and we’ve certainly missed them.”
Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities at Norfolk County Council, said:
“Norfolk’s museums are a vital part of our heritage and visitor economy. We want to see people enjoying themselves in safety and confidence as we steadily reopen each site. Our county’s cultural and historical attractions will be a vital part of Norfolk’s economic recovery and this is an important step along that path.”
Visitors to each museum have access to hand sanitiser and handwashing facilities while signage and recommended visitor routes will allow for social distancing.
The reopening arrangements for all three sites have been awarded a Visit Britain ‘We’re Good To Go’ certification, the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.