Brighton and Hove’s museums have benefited from the staycation trend, clocking up huge increases in visitor numbers last year.
Brighton Museum had record visitor numbers, helped by increased Sunday opening and popular exhibitions. In 2009, the museum had 233,000 visitors, up from 196,000 the year before. The previous record was in 2004/5 when 227,000 attended.
Extended Sunday opening, which started last September accounted for 5,000 extra visitors. Council bosses say other factors increasing the museum’s popularity have been a new permanent Egyptian gallery and an exhibition about wartime Land Girls over the winter.
Hove museum also increased visitors from 35,000 to 40,000. The success was partly attributed to the popular Precious exhibition showcasing work by contemporary artists who have recycled discarded materials to create new artworks.
The Royal Pavilion increased numbers by almost 7,000 from 276,128 to 283,093. Cabinet councillor in charge of museums David Smith said: “We’re all really pleased people are appreciating the museums. Both Hove and Brighton have improved beyond recognition in recent years.
“They also have some very clever staff who have put on some really imaginative exhibitions. That seems to be reflected in these figures.”
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