THE Crawford Art Gallery is to open on Sundays and Bank Holidays in response to growing visitor numbers.
The new opening hours will come into effect in April. The Crawford Art Gallery already welcomes almost 200,000 visitors a year.
In 2017 the Gallery recorded the highest annual attendance figures since 2012 with an incremental annual increase culminating in 13%.
The latter half of 2017 shows a strong rise in visitor figures with some months showing increases of 22 to 24 % on the previous year with September showing a record number of visitors.
This growing demand from the public combined with additional funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has led to the significant announcement.
Interim Director Norma Cuddihy said that as a result of increased financial support from the Department of Culture Heritage and Gaeltacht in 2018, they will be able to open on Sundays and Bank Holidays from April.
"We will also be in a position to provide free tours and workshops on Sundays. This is a very exciting year for the Gallery as we have an extensive programme of events planned including our major summer exhibition, Naked Truth which features work from Francis Bacon as well as other major Irish artists."
There has been significant change in the Gallery in the last 12 months, with the retirement of long-term Director Peter Murray. In February 2018, Mary Mc Carthy will take over at the helm of The National Cultural Institution. Ms Mc Carthy, a native of Skibbereen, West Cork has most recently been Director at the National Sculpture Factory.
Previous to this she was Cultural Manager with Dublin Docklands Development Authority and prior to this deputy director of Cork’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2005.
Exact opening hours are to be announced in the coming weeks.