Museum-lovers in Leeds can rediscover millions of years of history now council-run venues across the city have officially reopened.
Leeds Museums and Galleries sites closed earlier this year as part of a city-wide effort to control the spread of Covid-19. Over the past few months, the team has continued to engage tens of thousands of virtual visitors through a series of innovative online exhibitions, events and workshops.
Now, having put a range of new safety and social distancing measures in place in line with government guidance, and with Visit Britain’s We’re Good to Go certification in place, each of the historic venues is ready to welcome back visitors in person.
Leeds City Museum is currently hosting Fast x Slow Fashion, which explores the changing face of the Leeds high street and the city’s own unique style through an eye-catching collection of clothes, accessories and historic photos.
Leeds Art Gallery has a thought-provoking collection of British woodwork sculpture on display alongside objects from Africa, India, China and Myanmar as part of the Woodwork: A Family Tree of Sculpture exhibition. Work by contemporary artist Sara Barker will also be on display until September.
Visitors to Abbey House Museum can discover fascinating facts, stories and memories spanning hundreds of years of music in Leeds in the site’s captivating Sounds of Our City exhibition. Nearby are the stunning ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, built by monks back in 1152.
At Leeds Industrial Museum, some of the city’s greatest minds and their remarkable inventions can be rediscovered in Leeds to Innovation while at Thwaite Watermill, visitors can see one of the country’s last remaining water powered mills.
The Lotherton estate is home to a beautiful country house filled with an internationally important collection of decorative art from the 19th and 20th centuries while Temple Newsam will give visitors the chance to safely explore the stunning 500 year-old Tudor Jacobean mansion and one of Europe’s biggest rare breeds farms.
Leeds Discovery Centre, a state-of-the-art storage facility and home to more than 1.3 million objects, is also available to visit for pre-booked tours from Autumn.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Our wonderful museums and galleries are a cornerstone of our city’s cultural offering and we know how much people in Leeds have missed being able to pay them a visit.
“Throughout the time these historic sites have been closed, there has been a tremendous amount of effort and imagination gone into not only preparing the sites for reopening but into ensuring people have still had the opportunity to engage with and explore our world class collection digitally.
“We’re thrilled that all our sites are now ready to welcome back the public and that visitors can safely enjoy our museums and galleries both in person and online.”
Each Leeds Museums and Galleries sites has social distancing and hygiene measures in place and booking in advance at some sites is essential. New visitor routes are also in place and some venues have limited access to some areas ensure visitor safety.
More details of arrangements at individual sites, advice for visitors and details about how to book can be found at: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/reopening-information/