Saffron Walden Museum will be closed to the public on Mondays, except bank holidays, from January 6, 2014, it has been announced.

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The museum’s remaining weekday and weekend opening hours will continue unchanged:

• March to October, Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm; Sundays and Bank Holidays 2-5pm.

• November to February, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4.30pm; Sundays and Bank Holidays 2-4.30pm. It will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day each year.

Cllr Howard Rolfe, Uttlesford District Council’s cabinet member for Communities and Partnerships, said: “There is a great deal of work to be done in managing the extensive collections we have at the museum. Monday closing is not uncommon at museum and heritage sites, for example the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is closed to the public on Mondays. 
“Other regional museums, such as those in Hertford and Braintree also close on Mondays and indeed both of these are closed on Sundays as well.

“Closing for a day a week will allow staff the time to work on the collections that they manage. With the new storage facility being built at the council’s Shire Hill site, we also needed to find time for the staff to start preparing and ultimately moving the collections.

“Over a period of several years the museum staffing level and budget has reduced and the new six days a week opening is consistent with the new staff structure operating the museum from January.”

The museum will also have to temporarily suspend some enquiry and research services for human history collections to allow staff to concentrate on their work for the store move.

The museum will be hosting a programme of events for 2014, and later in the spring it will be recruiting volunteers from the local community to assist with the store move. From March 8, the special exhibitions gallery will feature ‘Secrets from the Stores’, a selection of intriguing objects and specimens seldom or never displayed before, to illustrate the full extent of the collections and the range of work which goes on out of sight from visitors in the galleries.

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