York Museums Trust is closing all of its sites and pausing behind-the-scenes activities for a week in support of staff health and wellbeing.
The trust announced this week that it would shut down operations on 4 January, with staff returning to work on 11 January. York Art Gallery and York Castle Museum will reopen to the public on 12 January, while the Yorkshire Museum will remain closed until spring.
York Museum Gardens will remain open to the public and operate normal opening hours during the shutdown.
In a statement, the trust said: “Like many cultural institutions and charities, York Museums Trust has had a challenging 18 months surviving the pandemic. Staff have worked hard, dealing with constant change and upheaval.
“York Museums Trust places great importance on the health and wellbeing of its workforce, and therefore has taken the decision to give all staff a chance to switch off completely from work ahead of what is likely to be another busy and stressful year.
“January is normally a quiet time for the museums and the decision has been taken to close all sites completely for one week so that all staff, many of whom work rota patterns, can benefit from a complete break from work.”
The trust's chief executive Reyahn King said: “We are most grateful for the continued support received from our visitors and supporters. All our work to inspire, to care for and to share York’s wonderful art and heritage is dependent on our people who have gone the extra mile consistently throughout the pandemic.
“Staff health and wellbeing is of utmost importance to York Museums Trust and all staff will be encouraged to take time to rest and recuperate. We hope people will return to work revitalised and ready to tackle the new year ahead.”