02 March 2021
The Museum trustees set out plans for re-opening in 2021 as restrictions are lifted.
Since the Government’s announcements on 22 February the Museum trustees have been checking the details of the announcement and deciding how they might go about re-opening the museum, whilst complying with the regulations. Initially, there was some doubt whether or not it might be allowed to open outside from 12 April 2021, followed by the whole site including Hangars from 17 May, 2021.
The museum has now secured clarification from DCMS (Department for Culture Media & Sports) via AIM (the Association of Independent Museums) that suggests it should be allowed to open the outside display areas from 12 April, 2021 albeit the detailed regulations will not be known until mid-March; so things could still change. Even with that in mind the museum is now looking at the following arrangements being made.
Opening outside displays
Opening the external displays at the museum on three days per week, typically Friday, Saturday and Sunday; commencing Friday 16 April (with the option to switch from Friday to Monday on 3 May for the early May Day Bank Holiday weekend). This will be at a reduced admission rate to reflect the reduced number of exhibits that can be seen.
As part of this re-opening the Museum Shop will also reopen under the changes to non-essential retail and offer take-out service will be offered from the café.
After an assessment of aircraft conditions, the museum will instigate a cleaning programme for external exhibits, with the work being undertaken by the museum’s working members. It is anticipated that this will take place in early April, whilst working to the anticipated Rule of Six Regulations. Arrangements for working members attending the museum to undertake this work will be co-ordinated through the museum’s Restoration Manager.
Opening hangars and inside displays
The initial aim is towards opening the internal displays at the museum on a normal basis, from 17 May; this will be in line with the relevant Covid-Secure Regulations, which may be subject to change.
Museum events in 2021
- Sadly, the museum has already cancelled the Cold War Call-Up event that was planned for May 2021.
- An Outdoor Aeroboot/Aerojumble will be organised for Saturday 3 July, 2021.
- The Cockpit-Fest 21 and Aeroboot event has been rescheduled to take place on the August Bank Holiday Weekend of 28, 29 and 30 August, 2021.
- The museum still plans to run an Autumn 1940s Weekend event on 2 and 3 October, 2021.
All of these proposals are subject to change by government legislation at any time so the museum will post regular updates on its website and social media feeds.
As a volunteer-managed, registered charity the museum relies on public admission fees, shop sales etc. to fund its operation and it has become ever reliant on the generosity of visitors, volunteers and staff in these unprecedented and challenging times. Online donations can still be made via its Just Giving Page.
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