Ironbridge museums get 'Good To Go' seal of approval before reopening
Some of the county's most popular museums have had the official seal of approval prior to re-opening this weekend.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museums – which start to re-open from Saturday after a three-month lockdown – have been awarded ‘We’re Good To Go’ status by England’s national tourism organisation to confirm they have done everything possible to meet current Covid-19 safety guidelines.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, a registered heritage conservation and education charity which cares for 36 listed buildings in the Gorge, said it was delighted with the news, which comes ahead of the first sites opening on Saturday.
Trust chief executive Nick Ralls said the award showed that everyone could visit the museums with confidence that all necessary safety measures were in place.
He said: “We have done a tremendous amount of work to make sure our sites are safe and being awarded this national status gives us a real seal of approval.
“The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means we have demonstrated that we are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment and ensured that all the required processes are in place.
“We have taken every measure possible to ensure that visitors not only have a tremendous day out with us from Saturday, but they can do so confident in the knowledge that everything has been done to keep them safe and well.”
Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and The Iron Bridge Tollhouse will lead the re-openings from Saturday.
The Museum of The Gorge, which suffered damage during the floods of February, will also open as a free entry visitor centre, while the Furnace Kitchen opened for takeaway food last month.
Strict social distancing measures will be in place along with an enhanced cleaning and hygiene regime, measures to control visitor numbers, clearly marked routes through the sites and timed entries.
Tickets and timed entry slots went on sale online on June 23.
A special audit of toilet facilities has been carried out to ensure they could be used safely, new hand-washing sites are in place across the venues and the trust said cleaning arrangements have been increased to offer extra peace of mind for visitors.
The museum – in a World Heritage Site and Shropshire’s most important visitor attraction – has been closed since the lockdown was announced in March having earlier been hit by the floods along the Ironbridge Gorge in February.
The ‘We’re Good To Go’ scheme has been developed in partnership with all the UK’s national tourism bodies to ensure a standard-led approach across the UK with input from more than 40 industry bodies.