Winter opening times cut but no job losses expected at The Alnwick Garden

Winter opening hours at The Alnwick Garden are being reduced to safeguard jobs.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 1:25 pm

The visitor attraction traditionally stays open all year round, with the exception of an annual maintenance closure in January.

However, it will be now be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the winter with the exception of school holiday periods.

Mark Brassell, Alnwick Garden director, said: “In order to safeguard jobs and remain open during November, December, February and March we have had to make the difficult decision to amend opening times.

Snowy conditions in The Alnwick Garden.

“As such, The Alnwick Garden will be closed on a Tuesday and Wednesday each week. The Garden will, however, remain open all week during half terms and other Northumberland school holidays.”

After a three-month closure during lockdown, The Alnwick Garden reopened its gates in July following a major overhaul in line with government guidance.

Strong visitor numbers and positive feedback meant that things were back to the (new) normal quite quickly.

However, as a charity, The Alnwick Garden has felt the impact of this unprecedented pandemic and the management team have explored how they can continue to keep the gates open through winter and provide the large, open spaces that visitors have come to see as their own.

This has also involved discussions with Alnwick Chamber of Trade, Alnwick Town Council and other local groups to ensure that the town benefits as much as possible by it remaining open and offering a reason to visit the area during the festive season.

Mark said: “At this point we seem to have weathered the storm when it comes to the first wave of the pandemic.

"No job losses are envisaged and all attempts are being made not only to secure jobs but to reinstate The Alnwick Garden’s award-winning community programmes which were interrupted during lockdown.

“Above all, our priorities are ensuring visitor safety, providing support to our charitable beneficiaries and helping to boost the local economy by bringing visitors to Alnwick and the surrounding area.”

As a charity, all financial surpluses made in summer are utilised to sustain jobs during the winter and deliver a range of award-winning community programmes that deal with wide-ranging social issues.

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