St Albans Museum + Gallery on track to beat annual visitor target

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News release: 19 October 2018

The new £7.75m St Albans Museum + Gallery has attracted more than 100,000 visitors since opening in June, achieving half its annual target in under four months.

St Albans Museum + Gallery. Credit: Elyse Marks
Visitors have flocked to the arts and culture centre to see fascinating exhibitions and cutting-edge art displays in the historic setting of the restored Grade II* Georgian Town Hall. The eight-metre high Assembly Room has already hosted dramatic art installations and been a venue for stunning events. The octagonal Courtroom has become a popular café destination and, together with the subterranean cells, brings alive dramatic historic stories of law and order. 

The new museum and gallery attracted 108,621 visitors to the end of September, according to figures presented to St Albans City and District Council’s Cabinet last night. This means that the centre for arts and culture is on track to meet its target of 200,000 visitors per year.

Cllr Annie Brewster, Sports and Culture Portfolio Holder for St Albans City and District Council, said: “I am delighted that The St Albans Museum + Gallery is proving to be such a popular St Albans visitor attraction for local, national and international audiences. 
“It is also pleasing to receive a very positive endorsement from The Chairman of Arts Council England and ex-Tate director, Sir Nicholas Serota. He applauded our current Hayward Touring Exhibition and was most impressed by the renovation and conversion of the building saying it was a model in balancing conservation with some discreet and well-designed new elements. 
“Our aim remains that an ever-changing programme allows visitors to make repeat visits to experience an exciting range of exhibitions and events focused around arts, culture and the City’s historic past.”

In addition to telling the fascinating history of St Albans through permanent exhibitions, the museum and gallery’s vibrant programme includes special exhibitions curated by world-renowned museums and galleries. These include Hand Drawn Action-Packed, an exhibition from the Hayward Gallery showcasing the work of ten artists from around the world which is on display until 11 November.

Coming next is Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered, curated by the V&A Museum of Childhood. This exhibition showcases some of the most iconic and visually-appealing games from the V&A’s national collection of board games. Family favourites and historical board games will be among the exhibits at the exhibition which opens on 1 December.

Full details of exhibitions and events at St Albans Museum + Gallery are available at: https://www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk/whats-on.

More information about visitor numbers is contained in the papers for the Cabinet meeting on Thursday 18 October. A webcast of the meeting is also available online.

Councillor contact:
Cllr Annie Brewster, Sports and Culture Portfolio Holder for St Albans City and District Council 
Tel:  01438 832255
Email:  cllr.a.brewster@stalbans.gov.uk

Contact for the media:
Amanda Wilkinson, 
Senior Communications Officer 
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819317 
E-mail: amanda.wilkinson@stalbans.gov.uk 
www.stalbans.gov.uk
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StAlbansCouncil 

Notes:

The new £7.75 million St Albans Museum + Gallery opened its doors to the public on Friday 8 June following a two-year restoration of the City’s Georgian Town Hall. 

St Albans Museum + Gallery is the newest addition to the portfolio of museums and heritage sites run by St Albans City and District Council's museums service. For more information about Verulamium Museum, the Hypocaust, the medieval Clock Tower, Sopwell Ruins, or the field archaeology unit and associated excavations, visit: https://www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk or call 0172 751810.

Photo:
St Albans Museum + Gallery. Credit Elyse Marks

Above: St Albans Museum + Gallery. Credit Elyse Marks