ART venues have been given the go-ahead to reopen from this weekend - with strict restrictions in place.

From July 4 museums, theatres and cinemas can welcome back visitors under safety guidance and social distancing measures, however live performances are not permitted until further notice.

“We’re sad the government has so far given no dates for live theatre and music to restart,” said Martin Vander Weyer, trustee and treasurer of Helmsley Arts Centre (HAC). “The whole performing arts world is very concerned about that.

“In some ways, we’re one of the lucky ones, thanks to our generous local supporters, plus a government small business grant, HAC has survived the lockdown and we now have the opportunity to start generating some income again as a cinema.”

Lisa Rich, venue manager at the Milton Rooms in Malton, said: “Initially, we anticipate offering use of the Milton Rooms to small groups.

“We are awaiting detailed clarification from the government on the new rules for community venues and more concrete guidance on what Covid-secure means for buildings such as ours.

“As we prepare to slowly reopen, we would like to thank everyone in the community for the support they have shown us during this difficult time.”

The Palace Cinema, in Malton, is aiming to reopen towards the end of July due to refurbishments and implementing safety guidelines.

Owner Jeremy Powell said:“We are not in a hurry to open our doors and will have systems in place to avoid those entering from having to be close to those leaving. The Palace will open gently with an eye on lessons learnt each day.”

Jennifer Smith, director of Ryedale Folk Museum, said they had taken numerous steps to ensure visitors can feel confident about returning.

“Our absolutely priority is the safety of visitors and staff and in the first instance it is very much a phased reopening,” she said.

“We have put some robust systems in place to ensure the museum is safe and welcoming and that appropriate social distancing measures can be followed at all times.”

Jennifer added: “It has been really heartening to see the support for the museum throughout all of this. It has meant a great deal to us during lockdown and it’s wonderful to be able to reopen now.”

Meanwhile, The Kirk Theatre in Pickering is to remain closed for the rest of the year.

Manager Luke Arnold said: “The safety of our audiences and volunteers is a major concern for us and we can not instigate strict social distancing rules due to our lack of space. Many of our volunteers are in the at-risk category and it would be unfair to ask them to put themselves at a greater risk.”