Thank you to everyone who completed our reopening survey, this has been extremely useful in helping us to finalise our building reopening plans. Alongside this, we have asked all the team at Firstsite for their views and have incorporated these into our plans to ensure our visitors, staff, employee and board feel comfortable and safe at Firstsite.

Guided by this feedback along with the latest official advice we are working to ensure the below measures are in place when we are able to reopen. We hope to announce our reopening date very soon. All planned measures will be monitored and reviewed regularly once we reopen to ensure these are working effectively.


Good To Go England - logo

Good to Go

We are delighted to hold the ‘Good to Go’ Visit Britain industry standard. Acquiring this standard means that Firstsite has followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, has a Risk Assessment in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.


A new Welcome to Firstsite

When we reopen you will notice our Welcome Area has a new look! We have moved our café to the back of our building so that we can maintain social distancing and provide table service to our customers. This also means there is plenty of space in our Welcome area to help everyone to socially distance.

On arrival everyone visiting our galleries and cafe will be asked to provide their name and contact telephone number to support the NHS Test and Trace.

Feedback from our surveys showed that sanitiser stations were the most important measure needed to help people feel comfortable. These have been installed throughout the building both in our public spaces and our office. Visitors will be asked to use the hand sanitiser station when entering areas such as our shop, cinema and café.


Moving around Firstsite

Once inside you will see a clear one-way system through our building, as requested by many of our survey respondents, this will be indicated with floor markers and also up-right signs. As part of the one way system, all visitors will be encouraged to keep left where possible.

Signage will be in place to help people to socially distance, and staff will also help visitors to maintain the required 2 metre distance. Where queuing is required this will be clearly marked, including 2 metre distance markers to indicate where people should stand.


Visiting at busy times

We will be limiting the number of visitors in our building. If capacity is reached, new arrivals will be asked to queue in our Welcome area. Our friendly staff will be available to provide information and chairs or other support to anyone who requires assistance.

We would like our visitors to be able to come to Firstsite when they wish, allowing for spontaneous visits when you need an uplifting experience or inspiration. We hope to keep queuing to a minimum and will keep this under constant review.

Pre-booked tickets were not seen by survey respondents as one of the most important measures that needed to be in place so we hope our system will accommodate everyone’s needs.

Pre-booking is required for Holiday Fun attendees, the cinema, and events and hires.


PPE requirements

Where social distancing cannot be maintained and when serving food, our staff will wear PPE. We will support staff who would prefer to wear a mask but will not make this mandatory if their role does not explicitly require them to do so.

We will be encouraging visitors to wear face coverings if they would like to. However by managing the number of people in the building at any one time we believe that with our visitor’s support, we can maintain social distance for everyone without the need to wear face masks, so masks in the gallery will not be mandatory at this time. Face coverings are however mandatory in our shop, in accordance with Government legislation.



Using our facilities

Our toilets and baby changing facilities will be open, and these will be regularly monitored and cleaned. We will limit the number of people in these areas to 2 people to enable social distancing.

Our welcome desk and shop now have Perspex screens to help protect visitors and our team.

We are only able to accept contactless card payments at this time at all our tills, including in our café. Our card machines will be cleaned between customers if the keypad is used.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide facilities for visitors to store personal items such as coats and bags, at this time.

We have removed all leaflets and flyers from the building – if you require any info about upcoming events or activities please ask our staff who will be happy to help.

Spaces in our building are available to hire, our team will help ensure social distancing is maintained at events, and rooms will be cleaned between each hire. Please contact our Venue Hire team for more info.


Our Galleries

The number of people in each gallery space will be limited to maintain social distancing. Interactive elements which may encourage contact have been removed from our exhibitions.


Our box office/booking tickets

Where possible, we encourage our visitor to make bookings for events, cinema and Holiday Fun online or over the phone by calling 01206 713700.

Tickets will be sent to you as e-tickets where possible.  You will only need to show the ticket on your phone or as a print out – no tickets will be collected by staff. For Holiday Fun, you will just need to provide your name on arrival.

If you purchase a ticket in person or over the phone and do not have access to an email address, you will be able to collect a ticket from the welcome desk. Our staff will wear additional PPE in order to provide this to you. Due to safety reasons we are only able to accept contactless payments via card at this time. Our card machines will be cleaned between customers if the keypad is used.


Our shop

Visitors will be asked to use the hand sanitiser before entering our shop, gloves will also be available for you to use.

The shop now has a one-way system and staff will monitor and control how many people are in the shop at one time.

Perspex screens have been installed at our till to keep both our staff and visitors safe. Due to safety reasons we are only able to accept contactless payments via card at this time. Our card machines will be cleaned between customers if the keypad is used.


Our café

Our café has now moved to the back of our building so that we can maintain social distancing and provide safe table service to customers. Customers will be asked to use hand sanitiser on entering. Our staff will wear PPE when serving customers in the café. If the café is busy you may need to queue at the entrance, observing social distancing. Our staff will guide to you to your table once it is safe to do so.

Our staff will come to your table to take your order, serve your food and drinks and take payment. Due to safety reasons, we are only able to accept contactless payments via card at this time. Our card machines will be cleaned between customers if the keypad is used.

We ask that people only visit the café to consume food or drinks purchased at Firstsite. No food or drink can be consumed in our galleries.


Our cinema

Our cinema will operate on a one way system and will have a socially distanced seating plan, allowing families to sit in ‘bubbles’. Seats will cleaned after each screening and staff will be present to guide you to your seats and maintain social distancing.

Bookings for the cinema are not yet open. Once our film programme is released, you will be able to book online and over the phone. If you book online, your booking will be reviewed by our team before the order is confirmed, this is to ensure capacity of the cinema is optimised and seating arrangements strictly adhere to social distancing.

Cinema customers should continue directly to the cinema entrance on arrival, there is no need to queue at our welcome area unless you need to collect your tickets.

We will operate a socially distanced queuing system at the entrance to our cinema, please show your tickets on your phone/smart device at entrance to cinema, or present a paper copy, our staff will look at this, but will not touch or collect it from you.

On entry to the cinema please use the hand sanitiser provided. Please only sit in the seats assigned to you.


Holiday Fun

Social distancing will be in place for all Holiday Fun activities. Our canteen will offer a table service to help maintain social distancing. Both Move activities and our Canteen must be booked in advance. More information about Holiday Fun specific safety measures can be found here