The Wokingham Paper

Reopening of museums and art galleries welcomed by LGA

art galleries
Art galleries and museums can reopen from Saturday, July 4 Picture: Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

RELAXED restrictions will mean that museums and galleries are allowed to reopen from next week.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that some places of leisure can open from Saturday, July 4.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the Local Government Association’s culture, tourism and sport board, said in a statement: “Cultural and creative organisations have a vital role to play in public health, mental well-being and educational outcomes, and will be central to the recovery of local economies.

“Museums, galleries and libraries have adapted imaginatively to lockdown, providing new and innovative services for their communities, but they have been unable to generate income during this time putting many at risk of closure.

“Whilst this news is positive, we must recognise that not all organisations will be ready to open on Saturday, July 4, and they may need time to prepare to bring staff back from furlough and redeployment.”

Cllr Vernon-Jackson added: “It is disappointing that the publication of the reopening guidance for museums and galleries and for libraries has been delayed.

“A minimum of two weeks is needed to allow other parts of the sector to ensure that safety measures are put in place for reopening.

“Local government is one of the largest funders of culture, spending over £1 billion a year and is committed to ensuring these crucial services can reopen safely.

“It is therefore vital that the Government provides the long-term sustainable funding to offset financial losses during the lockdown and to ensure services can continue.”

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