CAL Committee Voices Concern At Change In Museum Opening Hours

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 01 October 2009

Reference: CAL01/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee has expressed its concern at changes to opening times introduced by National Museums Northern Ireland.

Mr Barry McElduff MLA, the Committee Chairperson said: “The Committee is concerned to hear that museums are to close for the first time on Mondays, which means that people will only have access to them on six out of the seven days of the week.

“This is of particular concern in the case of the Ulster Museum which is due to re-open later this month after a significant refurbishment. Over £17 million of public money has been spent on the Ulster Museum and it would be a pity if the public could not enjoy its facilities on a Monday.

“The Committee has commissioned research to examine the evidence which was presented by National Museums NI and NIPSA regarding the impact of the changes to the current opening hours.

“The Committee was also concerned that it was not consulted by National Museums NI about this change in policy, given our role as a scrutiny committee of DCAL, including its arms length bodies.”

The Committee was taking evidence from National Museums Northern Ireland and NIPSA about these newly introduced changes to museum opening hours. The new opening times, which come into effect immediately, will mean that the Ulster Museum (when it re-opens), the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and the Ulster American Folk Park will close on Mondays.

The change has been introduced to allow longer opening hours at weekends.

ENDS

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