A VISITOR centre that celebrates the life of the famous author and vet James Herriot is reopening this week.

The World of James Herriot in Thirsk is the first in the Hambleton district to be awarded Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark after complying with all the processes needed to open safely.

It is the official mark for the tourist industry signalling a business has followed government Covid-19 guidance and has processes in place to maintain cleanliness and observe social distancing guidelines.

The leader of Hambleton District Council, Councillor Mark Robson, said: “Getting the centre back up and running is vital to the economy of Thirsk – and the district.

“It brings in people from across the country – and the world – who want to know more about one of our most famous sons.

"And for the centre to be awarded the ‘Good to Go’ mark seals the hard work put in to get it up and running once more.”

The centre, a tribute to the world’s most famous vet and author Alf Wight – aka James Herriot – will reopen to the public on Wednesday, July 15.

Over the last few weeks several changes have been made to the centre – there is a new one way system meaning that all customers will now enter through the famous red door and leave via the shop.

Timed tickets can be bought on line and will be restricted to 25 an hour – although people can also turn up and pay at the new entrance booth – sited within the museum ‘dining room’.

And customers who don’t get the chance to watch the tribute film will be offered a free copy of it as they leave.

Centre managing director, Ian Ashton, said the team had worked hard to reopen.

He said: “It is a difficult time for everyone in this industry but we are pleased to be opening up again and hope that with this Visit Britain recognition people will feel confident they can visit us safely.”