LEICESTER’S flagship museum will reopen next week with a new name, a new website and a new online booking system.
Leicester Museum and Art Gallery – that’s the new name for New Walk Museum and Art Gallery – will open at 11am on Monday 17 August. It will be open 11am-4.30pm on weekdays and 11am-5pm at weekends.
The museum has changed its name to demonstrate that it is Leicester’s leading museum, and to help people from outside the city if they are searching online for Leicester museums.
Following the easing of some coronavirus restrictions in Leicester, the city council is now able to reopen some of its buildings and increase access to services, in line with Government advice.
To aid social distancing, museum visitors will be asked to book online ahead of their visit. They will be able to do this for all museums in Leicester using a new website, www.leicestermuseums.org
The website has been funded by Arts Council England as part of Leicester Museums and Galleries National Portfolio Organisation funding. It features useful information on all of Leicester’s museums, plus details of permanent and visiting exhibitions and displays. It will showcase the city’s collections, as well as providing details of what measures are in place to make museums covid-19 secure.
Following on from the opening of Leicester Museum & Gallery, the gardens at Belgrave Hall will reopen on Wednesday 19 August, from 11am-4.30pm. They will then open on Wednesdays from 11am-4.30pm and on the first full weekend of every month from 11am until 4.30pm.
Newarke Houses Museum, the Guildhall and Abbey Pumping Station will all open on Thursday 27 August, and will then open from Thursdays to Sundays, noon until 4.30pm.
Admission to all of the city’s museums is free.
Social distancing measures will be in place in all museum buildings, taking account of the latest Government safety guidelines to help keep both staff and visitors safe. As well as booking online prior to visiting, visitors will find signs reminding people to keep a safe distance apart and screens at reception desks.
In line with Government guidance, face coverings must be worn by people aged over 11 in public buildings, as well as in shops.
Leicester Museum & Gallery will reopen with a new exhibition called Brick City, which runs until 22 November. The exhibition celebrates iconic buildings from around the world, recreated in LEGO® bricks by Warren Elsmore, and culminating with a magnificent 180,000-piece LEGO rendition of London St Pancras Station.
Also on display at Leicester Museum is Finding the Fallen, VE75 – A Pilgrim’s Journey of Remembrance, which is on from 17 August to 15 November. Linked to the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the exhibition is a response by Leicester artist Loz Atkinson to the memory of her great-grandfather Arthur Pinder. Arthur and his crew died during the Second World War when their Halifax Bomber crashed on a mountain in northern Italy.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair, who leads on culture, leisure and sports, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our museum. We’ve spent lockdown creating a new website and putting measures in place to ensure both staff and visitors can be safe.
“We’re reopening with a new name for our flagship museum, a brand new website and a couple of exciting exhibitions which together will appeal to a wide range of visitors.
“Leicester’s museums have so much to offer – so while things may look and feel a little different, we’re delighted to be opening up our doors again to showcase our many varied and fascinating stories, artefacts and displays.”
Museums’ gift shops will be open and the café at Leicester Museum & Gallery will be offering a reduced menu. A booking system will be in operation for the café, which will have socially-distanced seating arrangements.
To book your visit to one of Leicester’s museums, go to https://www.leicestermuseums.org/book-tickets/