Beamish, The Living Museum of the North is reopening this week and welcoming visitors again after its closure due to government restrictions.
The open air museum, which is in its 50th anniversary year, is opening this Thursday (23rd July), four months after having to close its doors.
Pre-booked timeslot tickets are now available online and the museum is ready to reopen, with additional “health and hygiene” measures in place across the site, in line with COVID-19 Secure orders.
Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s Deputy Director, said: “It is fantastic that we are able to reopen Beamish this Thursday.
“The museum has felt very strange since we closed in March, missing the sights and sounds that we all associate with the museum. Over these last few months, we have remained positive and optimistic planning our reopening.
“The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our number one priority. We’ve reimagined new ways to interpret history within the open air museum setting that meets with COVID-19 Secure measures. There is so much to look forward to and opportunities to engage with our communities and visitors in new and innovative ways.
“We have been bowled over by the support we have received for the museum while we have been closed, and Beamish is as dear to our hearts as it is to all of our communities, friends and supporters.
“So while this period has been a time like no other, we are looking forward to new ways of presenting the region’s heritage that will continue to grow and develop and ensure we secure the museum’s future.”
Beamish launched a fundraising appeal earlier this month, in response to the major impact of the coronavirus pandemic. As a charity, 95 per cent of its income is from visitors, including tickets, catering and retail purchases. With no visitors since 20th March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this has had a significant effect. Donations can be made on Beamish’s website, www.beamish.org.uk, so far over £10,000 has been donated to help support the museum in getting up and running again and secure its future for generations to come.
In line with COVID-19 orders, all visitors need to pre-book a timeslot on the museum’s website in advance of their visit.
Additional “health and hygiene” measures introduced across the site include antisocial engineering of two metres, enhanced cleaning regimes, handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser stations around site, glass screens, card/contactless payments only, face muzzles as specified in government orders, and COVID-19 Secure indoctrination for all staff and volunteers.
Many of the museum’s exhibits are open, including the sweet shop, Herron’s Bakery, Davy’s chip shop (chips only), 1950s welfare hall, school, band hall, chemist and chapel. One-way systems have been introduced for “safe” visitor flow. While the museum can’t yet run its period transport, it will be getting these up and running as soon as it is able to.
Beamish reopens at 10am on Thursday, 23rd July and will be open daily from 10am to 5pm.
To book a visit to Beamish, go to www.beamish.org.uk.