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Museum Makes a Million

Posted on Thursday 3rd May 2012

Museum of Liverpool welcomes one million visitors

The Museum of Liverpool has welcomed one million visitors through its doors since opening in July 2011, just nine months ago.

The largest newly built national museum in Britain for more than a century was forecast to attract 750,000 people in its first year, but in nine months it has already well exceeded that target.

David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool said:

“The response has been tremendous, not only from Merseysiders but from visitors to the city from all over the globe.
“The people who live in and around Liverpool have always known it‘s a very special city, and now the Museum of Liverpool is the must-visit place to discover and celebrate the city’s history and culture. A lot of local people want to show off the Museum to visitors to the city.”

Celebrating the milestone, David Fleming was joined by Director of the Museum of Liverpool Janet Dugdale and pupils from Bishop Martin School to mark the achievement with a football themed photo.

Janet said:

“One million people is hard to picture, but to put it into perspective, that’s 90,000 Liverpool and Chelsea fans going to Wembley for 11 FA Cup Finals! We could fill Anfield 22 times and Goodison Park 25 times with the number of people we’ve had through our doors and that’s a massive achievement. It’s an emotional place, and the level of visitors just goes to show that the Museum has a real resonance with people.”

Chairman of National Museums Liverpool Phil Redmond said:

"I think the Museum of Liverpool is simply the best city museum in the world, and Merseysiders can be very proud of what we have all created”.

The Museum of Liverpool’s first opening week remains its busiest, attracting 77,667 people after the People’s Opening led by six year old Finn O’Hare on 19 July 2011. School holidays have been popular times, with nearly 60,000 people visiting during the two-week Easter period, and the latest city event, the Giant Spectacular Sea Odyssey, led over 22,000 people to the Museum throughout Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are the most celebrated visitors to the Museum, opening it officially on 1 December 2012. Other famous names have included Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Ken Dodd and Yoko Ono, who likes it so much that she has already visited twice.

The Museum has also played host to some high profile events, as one of the newest venues in the city, with some of the best and most spectacular views over the Pier Head and Albert Dock. Former Liverpool player Dietmar ‘Didi’ Hamann chose to launch his book at the Museum of Liverpool, and TV soap Hollyoaks has even used it as a location for one of its recent storylines.

The Museum of Liverpool features four main galleries looking at the development of the Port of Liverpool, its global links, the city’s creativity and sporting history, and its people. There are a number of smaller galleries and exhibition areas including the Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery, displaying the last surviving carriage from the railway, which visitors can climb onboard. The Museum also has a dedicated children’s gallery for ages six and under.

With more than 70 films, interactive touch screens, multimedia stations and hands on activities, there’s also two 360 degree immersive films focused on The Beatles, and Liverpool’s relationship with football.

Visitor comments:

“Awesome, will visit again and again. I moved here 5 years ago and won’t be moving again. I love Liverpool!” - Liverpool
“Made a 60 year old Scouser realise what a great city this is!!” - Liverpool
“Hi I’m from America (California) your exhibitions are cool I would love to come and visit again.”
“Excellent – it made me want to be a Liverpudlian! A Lincolnshire lass.”
“The most moving museum I have ever visited. The beauty, joy, sadness and humour of ordinary people. Quite brilliant. And thanks for making it free and accessible to everyone at a time when arts and museum budgets are being slashed.” – Midlothian. 
“Brilliant museum best in Northern hemisphere!” - Australia
“A glorious ode to this wondrous city. History, beauty, fun. Marvellous stuff.” - Belgium
“If I lived or was born here I would be very proud of the museum and even more proud to be Liverpudlian.” - Newcastle

Notes for editors

The diverse range of exhibits on display includes:

  • The stage where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met in 1957
  • The 1838 steam locomotive ‘Lion’
  • 10 metre-long (30ft) Chinese Ceremonial Dragon
  • The Huxley Hoard: a collection of Viking silver thought to date to the first decade of the tenth century AD
  • The first Ford Anglia off the Ford’s Halewood production line in 1963
  • Victoria Cross medal awarded to Sergeant David Jones of the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment on 3 September 1916 for brave leadership while serving in the First World War at Guillemont France
  • Life-size 5.5m (18ft) Liver Bird
  • Cycling legend Chris Boardman’s famous Lotus Sport bike
  • Model design for Lutyens’ enormous Cathedral of Dreams
  • Reconstruction of typical court housing
  • Items from the Everton Collection Charitable Trust

The Museum of Liverpool 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) and the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS)

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) works to deliver economic success in England’s Northwest by building the competitiveness of businesses, people and places. The Agency is the strategic lead for tourism in the Northwest and works with the region’s five tourist boards to support and grow our £13 billion visitor economy. For further information please visit www.nwda.co.uk|

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|.

Please contact: |Lucy Cattell in the press office for more information on this release.