Leeds Council hikes admission fees for city's museums including Abbey House, Temple Newsam and Thwaite Watermill

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Entry prices at some of Leeds’ museums and attractions have increased, with some tickets rising by as much as 14 per cent.

The city council is hiking admission fees for adults and children at Temple Newsam House, Leeds Industrial Museum, Thwaite Watermill and Abbey House Museum. Non-Leeds residents will also have to pay more to access Kirkstall Abbey, though it will remain free to people and families who live in the city.

The council says the hikes are needed to help keep up with inflation and rising staff costs and that the attractions it runs in the city centre, such as the Art Gallery and Leeds City Museum, will remain free for all.

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Most of the increases are between five and 14 per cent, although in practice no ticket will rise by more than £2. Meanwhile, hire charges for council-run venues are increasing, as are the price of weddings.

Admission fees have risen at Abbey House Museum, Temple Newsam House and Thwaite Watermill museums in LeedsAdmission fees have risen at Abbey House Museum, Temple Newsam House and Thwaite Watermill museums in Leeds
Admission fees have risen at Abbey House Museum, Temple Newsam House and Thwaite Watermill museums in Leeds

Selected price changes

As of April 11, the price of entry to Abbey House Museum has gone up from £6 for an adult to £6.50. Family tickets have risen by 75p to £14.25, while for children, prices have gone up from £3 to £3.15.

At neighbouring Kirkstall Abbey, it’s now £5.50 for adult admission if you live outside Leeds, compared to £5 before. An identical rise has kicked in at Thwaite Watermill in Stourton and at the Leeds Industrial Museum in Armley.

However, entry to the Industrial Museum will remain at £1 for anyone with an LS12, LS3, LS4 or LS5 postcode, following a successful recent trial. The council says this initiative will “add value” to Leeds Year of Culture, though visitors from those postcodes will still be asked to provide proof of address.

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Meanwhile, at Temple Newsam House, the price of a family ticket, which covers up to two adults and three children, has gone up from £19 to £21. The price of a child ticket has gone up by 14 per cent, from £3.50 to £4, making it one of the biggest single ticket rises anywhere this month.

Discounts for all these venues are available to those with a Leeds Card, a children’s Breeze Card, or a Max Card, which is available to families of children with special needs.

A council report detailing the price changes said they wanted to “ensure Leeds Museums and Galleries can provide choice to visitors, offer value for money alongside specific discounts, deliver against agreed income targets in the next financial year and support Leeds 2023, in the year of culture.”

Venue hire and weddings

The price of a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey and Thwaite Watermill is rising by 10 per cent, with the council saying it has to cover the cost of rising staff wages. The changes will not to apply to those who’ve already booked their wedding with a deposit, the local authority says.

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Meanwhile, room and venue hire at a council-run attraction is going up by 25 per cent, after a review found charges were considerably cheaper than similar places in the private sector. Prices for the picture lending scheme at Leeds Art Gallery will also go up slightly for residents, charities and businesses.