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Cosford RAF Museum thrilled to be open again after lockdown

By Charlotte Bentley | Attractions | Published:

The RAF Museum at Cosford has welcomed back its first visitors as it reopened after months of closure and a £1.5 million loss of income.

President of Meuseums Association and RAF Museum CEO, Maggie Appleton

Visitors flocked to the aircraft museum after it announced it was one of the first national museums to reopen on Monday with social distancing and safety measures in place, and a new online booking system.

Maggie Appleton, RAF Museum CEO and President of Museums Association, was there to welcome visitors and said it was an important day for the industry, after Government funding was recently announced.

"We are just so pleased and excited and relieved to be open again," she said. "It's so brilliant because its what we are all about.

The RAF Museum Cosford is the first national museum to reopen its doors to visitors following months of closure due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. In Picture: President of Museums Association and RAF Museum CEO, Maggie Appleton

"It's absolutely massive for us in terms of the funding crisis in the cultural sector at the moment. We have been affected by a £1.5 million loss of income due to the lockdown.

"But we're all about the public and our visitors. So to be able to open the door and welcome people back is so important and so special."

Maggie explained that visitors will see a few changes to the museum as a one-way system has been put in place and visitors must pre-book before arrival.

She said: "We remain a free national museum but we are asking people to book in advance so we can manage the numbers as they come through. We have got such a wonderful, large site inside and out which is good for social distancing.

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President of Museums Association and RAF Museum CEO, Maggie Appleton, welcomes visitors on opening day

"Having a booking system also helps us take people's details for the track and trace system. Our staff are wearing visors so people can still see us smiling at them.

"We are trying to get across the combination of reassurance and social distancing but equally we are so committed to giving as warm a welcome as we always have. We are limiting numbers in the first couple of weeks while we test the system.

"We very much welcome the funding announced recently for the cultural and arts sector. We are really conscious of colleagues who were on the brink of closing the doors –as a community we are supportive of each other."

Maggie added that she was really grateful for the public's support and donations during lockdown.

Visit www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/ to watch the informative welcome video and to book.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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