Museums to open for longer again

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ART lovers are being given more time to view Sheffield’s collections - after opening hours were partially-restored at the city’s main galleries and museums.

Museums Sheffield, the trust running the Millennium Gallery, Weston Park and Graves Gallery, has had a further £80,000 restored to its budget which will allow the three venues to open for an extra 30 hours each week.

But the funding - found by Sheffield Council from disposing of excess vehicles in its fleet - stops short of fully reinstating the old opening times.

Before cuts were made in this year’s council budget, Graves Art Gallery used to open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, but had its hours reduced to 10am to 2pm Thursday and Friday, and 11am to 3pm on Saturday.

Extra funding means from July 1, it will also open from 10am to 2pm on Wednesday but remains shut on Monday and Tuesday.

Millennium Gallery will have its hours extended from 10am to 4pm daily to close at 5pm, although Sunday hours will be 11am to 4pm.

The same extended timings will be brought in at Weston Park Museum - currently open 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

The extra hours were agreed following talks between Museums Sheffield and Sheffield Council.

Nick Dodd, chief executive of Museums Sheffield, said: “I am delighted and grateful the new administration has been able to fulfil its pledge to increase our opening hours.

“This will have a direct benefit for families, schools and the people of Sheffield, 1.25 million of whom visited us last year. It will also enhance the city’s tourist economy. We look forward to implementing the changes from July 1.”

Leader of the council Julie Dore, said: “This is great news for the city and for those people, across all generations, who love to visit our wonderful museums and art galleries.

“Restoring opening hours to these venues is a priority for the council and we have worked hard to find realistic ways to extend opening hours at a prudent and well managed cost.”