December 11 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, December 27, 2012
One of Norwich’s oldest buildings is to open for more days during the busy summer period thanks to a grant totalling thousands of pounds.
Strangers’ Hall, in Charing Cross, is planning to welcome visitors for four days a week between June and September next year rather than the current two days a week.
The opening hours at the grade one listed building will remain 10am to 4pm.
The Friends of Norwich Museums has provided Norfolk County Council with the extra funding, which will increase the number of staff at the attraction to keep it open for longer. The precise value of the grant has not been disclosed.
Strangers’ Hall, which dates back to 1320, recorded 9,669 visits in 2011/12, an increase from 9,569 in 2010/11.
Officials reported to a Norwich area museums committee meeting this month visitor numbers remained steady, but were 20pc lower in 2012/13 than the previous year.
This was after the opening times were scaled back from four days to two.
Richard Gurney, chair of the Friends of Norwich Museums, said: “We have developed a particularly close relationship with Strangers’ Hall, with many of our members working as volunteer room stewards and garden volunteers, hence their particular attachment to the museum and their desire to extend its offer to the public.”
Further talks between the friends and the council are planned to review whether or not they will continue funding the extended opening hours after 2013.
Rachel Kirk, Norwich museums manager, said: “It has always been held in fond regard by Norwich people who, along with visitors to the city, will benefit hugely from this very generous offer.”