Graves gallery opening hours to be restored

Pictured at the EIS Sheffield Elections 2011'Sheffield Labour Party leader of the Council Julie Dore , celebrates after her party's victory
Pictured at the EIS Sheffield Elections 2011'Sheffield Labour Party leader of the Council Julie Dore , celebrates after her party's victory

GRAVES Art Gallery is to have its old opening hours restored after Sheffield’s new Labour administration announced it would reverse budget cuts made by the Liberal Democrats.

Museums Sheffield, the trust that oversees galleries and museums, had reduced opening times of the exhibition space above the Central Library in Surrey Street to help save £279,000.

New council leader Julie Dore said: “I can confirm that we will be restoring funding to Graves Art Gallery, as we promised to do. We need to sit down with the trust to discuss how much it will cost to restore the opening hours to what they were before the Lib Dem cuts.”

Former Lib Dem cabinet member for finance, Coun Simon Clement Jones said: “The new administration should make sure it knows what is going on there before making any sort of commitment like this.

“To restore the opening hours, they will have to take money from somewhere else in the council’s budget which would lead to a different cut. You can’t spend money twice.”

The Graves’ current reduced hours are 10am to 2pm on Thursday and Friday, and 11am to 3pm on Saturday. It used to open six days a week, with longer hours.

Initially there were fears for the future of the gallery because of the scale of savings that the trust needed to make, but cuts were reduced amid public concern