Museums across Sheffield have opened for the first time this year following months of closure during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sheffield’s museums have been closed for months due to the pandemic, resulting in a huge loss of income usually raised through donations, shops, cafes and corporate hire.
The museums were able to navigate the impact of the pandemic thanks to funding through the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and continued support from both Sheffield Council and Arts Council England.
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Kelham Island Museum, the Millennium Gallery and Weston Park Museum opened today for the first time since December last year.
Weston Park Museum offers visitors the first chance to see the latest addition to the museum’s displays, a four-metre-long skeleton of a pilot whale.
The skeleton was carefully reassembled by Sheffield biology lecturer, Dave Clay, during the first lockdown and has been suspended from the ceiling at the entrance to the ‘What on Earth! gallery’.
The popular exhibition The Sheffield Project: Photographs of a Changing City, which opened just before the last lockdown, also makes a return. Another new exhibition at Weston Park Museum is Sheffield Stories which celebrates the best things about Sheffield.
Sheffield Museums Chief Executive, Kim Streets, said: “Lots of people have got connections with Sheffield museums that go back decades – maybe your nan donated something to a museum – because the collections come from the people of Sheffield.
“Museums are built on gifts and on people donating items to the people of Sheffield, so we feel that by gifting people admission we will be able to welcome more visitors.
“We hope it will make a big difference in terms of people being able to pop in and visit more often, rather than thinking they have paid admission so they have got to stay for five hours.”