galleries

what next for the great art galleries of the North?

Squeezed between successive waves of lockdowns and restrictions, galleries in the north of England are being forced to rethink their business models. For institutions such as Manchester Art Gallery, or Bluecoat in Liverpool, the Culture Recovery Fund has provided a temporary lifeline, but questions remain as to what will happen after March.

Even prior to this second national lockdown, visitor figures had been restricted to accommodate social distancing: Baltic in Gateshead, which would welcome 3,000 on a good Sunday, hit capacity last weekend at 500. The entrepreneurial culture of the last two decades, under which arts organisations were encouraged to generate significant income from commercial activities, now appears unsustainable.

“What we’re seeing is a complete collapse of our income model,” explains Sarah Munro, director of Baltic. Support from Arts Council England, Gateshead Council and Northumbria University accounts for about 60 per cent of the gallery’s budget. Until this year, car

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Why will none of London’s museums or art galleries reopen on July 4?

The British Museum - Getty
The British Museum – Getty

Not one of London’s major museums and galleries will reopen on July 4, despite being given the green light to do so from the Government.

The latest easing of lockdown measures means that from this Saturday, cultural institutions, along with pubs, restaurants and hotels, will be permitted to welcome visitors, provided that they adopt a raft of safety and social distancing measures. 

While many hospitality businesses have been clamouring to reopen and quickly announced their plans after the Prime Minister’s statement, the capital’s cultural attractions have been much more reticent.

After the announcement, the Directors of the Tate, Science Museum Group, Natural History Museum, National Gallery, British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum issued a joint statement, which offered no concrete plans:

It stated: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement to allow the safe reopening of our galleries to the public this summer. We will

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