Kirklees museums and galleries get praise and top quality mark

An interior of an art gallery, with spacious wooden floors interspersed with artistic creations

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It is official, visitors are guaranteed a quality time at Kirklees’ museums and galleries!

Kirkless Council’s five museums – Oakwell Hall, Red House, Bagshaw Museum, Dewsbury Museum and Tolson Memorial Museum – have all retained their Visit England “Quality Assured’ accreditation and Huddersfield Art Gallery has achieved it for the first time.

Visit England found that the museum buildings, exhibitions, displays and customer care all combine to give an excellent visitor experience.

The sites were secretly assessed under Visit England’s visitor attraction quality scheme, offering an unbiased viewpoint of visitor’s experience by industry professionals. The assessors replicated the entire visitor journey, from looking at websites before the visit to experiencing all aspects of each attraction, including customer-staff interactions.

Oakwell Hall and Visitor Centre, Birstal
Assessors found it fascinating and well-preserved. Staff were complimented on their cheery welcome and attentive service.  The extensive and well-maintained parkland was also praised.

Red House Museum, Gomersal
Described as a delight to visit, the assessor listed its charming gardens, friendly staff and expertly-themed room sets among its attractions. The report said interactions with the staff were both positive and memorable, and the overriding impression is of a happy, motivated and capable team.

Dewsbury Museum
The museums impressive architectural features were highlighted in the report, along with the colourful and engaging Toy Gallery, the WW2 schoolroom and the Significant Places Gallery, which uses the recollections of local people to good effect.

Bagshaw Museum, Batley
The beautiful and well-preserved interior of the museum was described as an attraction in its own right. The fabulous wood panelling, stunning staircase and stained glass windows were complemented by very good quality displays and interpretation, especially those about the history of the house.

Tolson Museum, Huddersfield
The report said the museum’s imaginative and visually appealing displays created a visitor experience of fun and discovery. Galleries were spacious and special mention was made of the highlighted ‘Top Ten’ exhibits along with the excellent visitor guide.

Huddersfield Art Gallery
Personal highlights of the assessor included the Lowry works and the Yorkshire Makers Gallery, which was described as an excellent showcase and shop window for Yorkshire artists and designers. Galleries were said to be spacious and well maintained with the collection well presented and well lit throughout with well positioned interpretation.

Kirklees’ museums and galleries were also complemented for their presence on the Council’s website, their comprehensive events, visitor and site information, excellent leaflet and links to Facebook and Twitter.

James Berresford, CEO of Visit England said:

We congratulate Kirklees museums and galleries for doing so well in this latest round of accolades, which continue to reflect the wide variety of attractions on offer in England.

Our attractions are some of our great assets, creating appeal for visitors at home and from abroad. These accolades recognise the wonderful and innovative ways attractions in Kirklees are going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure people enjoy their visit, from a friendly and warm welcome, to high-quality food and drink on offer, or capturing the imagination with creative experiences.

Find out more about our museums and galleries.

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