THE BOSS of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion says now is the best time for people in the city to visit and enjoy its historic buildings.
Hedley Swain, Chief Executive Officer for the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust, has said the reduced number of visitors means people living in Brighton can experience the city’s museums “in a way they have never been able to before.”
Local visitors are being encouraged to consider exploring all of the trusts’ sites including the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Preston Manor and Hove Museum and Art Gallery, which reopens on July 19.
Hedley said: “My appeal to local people is please do visit because not only are you helping us at a difficult time, but you are getting the Pavilion and the museum you have never had before.
“You can really take your time, have a really great experience at the moment.
“We won’t get the foreign visitors and the big groups that we became so reliant on for a while, and I think there is a lot of people in Brighton and Hove who know about the Pavilion but perhaps have never been.
“My big plea to them is that if you value the museums and value having the pavilion, help us by coming and visiting and telling other people to visit.
“Take advantage of this time when they are slightly quieter, and the visit will be more enjoyable.”
Hedley became head of the charitable trust that runs the museums on the first day of the second national lockdown in November.
After working alone in Pavilion throughout lockdown, he said was delighted when the historic landmark was able to welcome visitors back through its doors.
He said: “We were completely closed up, all of the staff were on furlough knowing how tough it was financially.
“I used to come into the pavilion every day and the only people here were security. But it did give us a chance to do a lot of thinking and planning.
“It also means now spring summer when we haven opened it has felt even nicer. It’s been lovely to walk through the Pavilion and see people enjoying it.
“But again, staff here who have been here in previous years remind me that even though we’ve had visitors, they are nothing like what they have been in previous years.
“All of us have got to pull together, work together really closely to get everyone back but we’ve got just such a fabulous offer.
There are so many other places in the country that don’t have anything near what we have to offer in Brighton.”
For more information about The Royal Pavilion and Museums, visit https://brightonmuseums.org.uk/about-us/royal-pavilion-museums-trust/