Shipley Art Gallery prepares to reopen

The Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead will reopen to the public from Tuesday 25 August. The Gallery, managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM), is preparing to welcome visitors back through its doors with social distancing measures in place. 

TWAM is looking forward to welcoming visitors back to its venues and would like to reassure the public that they are safe to visit and that all social distancing and health and safety measures are in place. A survey carried out last month by TWAM revealed that many people were keen to return to their local museums and galleries and the most important things that visitors wanted to see were social distancing measures, extra cleaning and fewer people admitted.

Julie Milne, Chief Curator of Art Galleries, TWAM, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome visitors back to The Shipley. We are looking forward to sharing our wonderful treasures with the community once again, whilst keeping our staff and visitors safe.”

Councillor Angela Douglas, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, Gateshead Council said: “It’s great that the Shipley Art Gallery will be able to welcome visitors back very soon. Throughout lockdown art and cultural activities has been an escape for many people so we’re really pleased that people will be able to once again see the fantastic exhibitions at the Shipley.


“I’d like to reassure people that measures have been taken to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. We all continue to have a responsibility to protect ourselves and others so would ask everyone to follow the latest guidance and not to visit if showing any signs of coronavirus.”


Whilst the experience will be a little different at The Shipley, to enable a safe and enjoyable visit, there will be plenty for visitors to enjoy including Treasures from the Shipley Art Gallery Collection, the Designs for Life gallery showcasing craft and design, the Saltwell Park Museum exhibition and the current still life exhibition Excess and the Everyday

Changes to visiting include fewer people admitted into the gallery to give visitors enough space for social distancing, but there is no need to book in advance. Visitor numbers will be closely monitored to keep them at a safe level.

To comply with government guidance members of the public will be required to wear a face covering to enter the building and a one-way route has been introduced around the gallery to make social distancing easier. Some parts of the building, where social distancing would be very difficult, will remain closed. These include the lounge, the workshop and the Henry Rothschild Study Centre. 

Hand sanitiser stations will be in place throughout the gallery and cleaning regimes will be increased, especially in areas of high contact, and contactless payments will be encouraged. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help visitors adjust to the new way of visiting. For full details of facilities available, please visit the gallery website: www.shipleyartgallery.org.uk

The Shipley Art Gallery has signed up for the Visit Britain Good to Go mark. Acquiring the Industry Standard mark means that the venues have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, have a Risk Assessment in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.  https://goodtogo.visitbritain.com/home