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Williamson Art Gallery closes for 'emergency' ventilation work


Wirral’s Williamson Art Gallery and Museum has been closed while ‘emergency engineering work’ is carried out on the venue’s ventilation system.

Wirral Council said the closure was expected to last ‘around a week’ depending on the availability of a contractor.

A statement from the council, which owns the Victorian building in Slatey Road, Birkenhead, said: “The work is necessary to improve existing ventilation and air flow throughout the building and was identified this week during ongoing safety inspections.

“This short-term measure will enable the museum to reopen to the public, however visitor numbers will continue to be limited while further investigatory works - and any associated repairs - are carried out, which will allow unrestricted access once again.”

The council is not releasing any further details surrounding concerns raised about the ventilation in the building, which only reopened to the public a month ago after being closed for the first 14 months of the pandemic.

Earlier this year it looked like it might be under threat of being permanently mothballed as Wirral Council looked to balance its 2021/22 budgets by finding millions of pounds of savings.

An online petition calling for the 92-year-old venue to be reprieved attracted thousands of signatures, and it was saved after alternative budget proposals were agreed.