The opening of The Box in Plymouth has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
An official statement from The Box says: "In recent weeks we’ve been monitoring the fast changing health situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking regular advice from Public Health England.
"Based on the most up-to-date advice from the government, and bearing in mind that health and safety is our priority of our visitors and our staff, we’ve decided to postpone our opening date which was scheduled for 16 May 2020.
"We are hugely disappointed to be announcing this postponement however we will be reviewing the situation regularly and will announce a new opening date as soon as we can.
"We’ll also be postponing our Preview Weekend on 2 and 3 May but still intend to hold this later in the year. If you live in the PL1-7 or PL9 areas please continue to register for our ticket ballot with your preferred Saturday or Sunday time slot. We’ll confirm the new dates as soon as we’re able.
"Our learning sessions will now be available from the Autumn term and we’re contacting schools who’ve already booked with us so we can hopefully rearrange their sessions for later in the year.
"Where possible we’ll be doing what we can to continue with our planning and preparations behind the scenes so we’re ready to open when the time is right.
"We’ll also be continuing to share content about our collections, figureheads and artists online in the hope it will provide you with some enjoyment and something different to read about during these difficult times.
"After all our hard work over the last few years this is a hugely difficult decision for us but the welfare of our staff, partner organisations, suppliers, contractors and future visitors is our top priority.
"We hope as many of you as possible stay well and look forward to welcoming you all to The Box when this is over.
"Our historic properties, Smeaton’s Tower and the Elizabethan House will also remain closed for the time being and we will update you about opening dates for these when we can.
"We are also exploring options to postpone the History Festival to later in the year or take it online for 2020."
Plymouth City Council Leader, Tudor Evans OBE said: “We understand the immense disappointment after all the extraordinary work that has taken place to bring this world class project to fruition. Once these dark times are over The Box will open and I feel sure it will be a shining light that everyone can look forward to experiencing and enjoying.”
For the latest government information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care
To stay up-to-date with The Box visit www.theboxplymouth.com