Why We Are Closed on Friday and Saturday

We would want Kelham Island Museum to be open seven days a week. However, the reasons for the opening pattern are both historical and financial. The Museum suffered heavy cuts in funding when it was run by the Council back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Trust was created in 1994 to save the Museum from closure. The level of funding for the new charitable Trust from the Council was based on the opening hours and staffing as they were at that time. Sunday to Thursday had previously been chosen by the Council to maximise school visit potential with more school groups coming Monday to Thursday than general visitors on Saturdays and schools on Fridays.

The cost of opening for an additional one or two days would be considerably more than any income generated as it would require several additional posts and so is currently not possible for the Council to subsidise.

However, we recognise that the market has changed and continues to do so and there may come a time as the Kelham area becomes an increasingly attractive destination that the cost / benefit calculation will change. We may also examine the pattern of days when we open, but the current structure is working in terms of the use of the Museum for private hire on Saturdays which generates considerable income to subsidise the public opening days of the Museum and all operating costs from these events, such as weddings, are covered.

We have over the years pressed for funding to put Kelham on the same basis as the art galleries in the City; that is to be open seven days and free and we will continue to point out that we are treated differently and this does seem strange given the aim to develop tourism in the City, but we do understand the historical issues and present difficulty. It is worth noting that the funding we receive from the Council is still less than the Museum received in 1992. Unfortunately the ongoing public sector cuts will almost certainly mean that service is likely to be reduced and not restored. In effect we will experience cuts on top of those of the early 1990s and the level of grant reduction agreed for next year is 15% and this will be followed by a further 5% cut in 2017-18. Hence the pressure is on to find other sources of income such as commercial activities to fill the gap caused by the loss of public sector funding.

Our opening hours for Kelham Island Museum are:

Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm and Sunday 11am-4.45pm

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is open Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 11am-4.45pm

Shepherd Wheel Workshop is open every weekend and Bank Holiday Monday 10am-4pm (summer) and 11am-3pm (winter)

Please see our venue Plan Your Visit pages for more information and December opening times.