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Two million visit Museum of Liverpool

Posted on Friday 7th June 2013
Museum of Liverpool viewed from across the docks

Two million and counting! © National Museums Liverpool

Crowds continue to flock to waterfront venue

The Museum of Liverpool has welcomed a staggering two million visitors since opening less than two years ago.

Its popularity among local visitors and those from further afield has shown no sign of fading since throwing open its doors in July 2011.

Smashing all targets for visitor numbers, the Museum is now the most visited in the country outside of London and has won accolades at home and abroad. 

Most recently, more than 23,000 people descended on the Museum over the course of the May Bank Holiday weekend, which kick-started Liverpool’s On the Waterfront programme of events with the 70th anniversary commemorations of The Battle of the Atlantic.

Janet Dugdale, Director of the Museum of Liverpool said: “To have reached two million visitors in a relatively short period of time is amazing. For a city with a population of fewer than 500,000 people, this is incredible. Research shows that many people have made repeat visits to the Museum, and we’re still continuing to attract national and international visitors, so the Museum is clearly making a significant contribution to the local economy.”

Within the first year of opening the Museum attracted 1.2 million visitors, exceeding the initial 750,000 visitor target by 60%.

Recent exhibitions and displays included Roger McGough’s Liverpool Doors, a collection of artwork by Liverpool-born novelist Beryl Bainbridge, one of Lily Savage’s dresses and a body sculpture of Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle MBE.

Latest installations include works marking the anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, and a sculpture by Joan Miro, which the Museum will display for a year after being awarded the European Museum prize for 2013 by the Council of Europe.

In March the Museum also opened a brand new theatre which shows a specially commissioned 20-minute film interpretation of Liverpool’s global position in history.

David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool said: “The visitor figures are astonishing and it’s clear that people are not just visiting once, they are returning time and time again. There is an appetite for culture and social history in this city. The challenge for us is to keep offering new and exciting things during a time of funding cuts.

“The Museum isn’t just a physical building. It’s a place for human rights, social action and is even contributing to the national health agenda. The House of Memories dementia awareness programme (based at the Museum) has also been a tremendous success. More than 3,000 carers have received training to help make lives better for dementia sufferers across the region and farther afield.” 

Notes to editors

Museum of Liverpool

The Museum of Liverpool is the country’s most visited museum outside of London. It is the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century, demonstrating Liverpool’s unique contribution to the world.

As the first national museum devoted to the history of a regional city, it showcases popular culture while tackling social, historical and contemporary issues and is a fantastic, free family day out. It has attracted nearly 1.8million visitors since opening in July 2011. The prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2013 was awarded to the Museum for its commitment to human rights as well as its work with children and families from all backgrounds.

The Museum has received generous support from several major funders, along with grants from trusts and foundations, corporate support and individual donations. Major funders include the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS),Garfield Weston Foundation and the Clore Duffield Foundation.

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) was responsible for the sustainable economic development and regeneration of England’s Northwest and had five key priorities: Business, Skills and Education, People and Jobs, Infrastructure and Quality of Life.

The European Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF in the North West is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government – for further information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf|.

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.5billion across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk| 

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract more than 3 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool,  World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, UK Border Agency National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.