Beamish Museum has announced that in 2016 it hosted its largest ever number of visitors.
The outdoor ‘living’ museum saw 747,651 visitors last year. This is the first time that the County Durham attraction has got above the 700,000-visitor mark in its 46-year history.
In December 2016, visitor numbers were 38% higher than those for the same month in 2015. Overall, annual visitor numbers are over twice as high as they were back in 2008, and Beamish Museum is now the most popular tourist attraction in County Durham that charges an entrance fee.
The director of the museum, Richard Evans, said, “This is a real success story for the north east – and a tribute to the hard work of all our staff and volunteers. We have enjoyed record results since the middle of 2016 – including an incredible 91,000 visitors in December.”
“This growth and the income it generates helps not just Beamish but the whole region.”
Big Congratulations to @Beamish_Museum for smashing your visitor numbers last year! #HLFSupported
— HLF North East (@HLFNorthEast) January 16, 2017
“More than half our visitors are tourists and nearly all of them stay overnight in hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses, as well as visiting other cultural and heritage gems we have in this fantastic region.”
“At Beamish this growth will help us create exciting new attractions in the coming years for visitors to come back again and enjoy. It also helps us employ more staff – more than 430 people now work at Beamish and a further 500 help us through volunteering.”
Last year, Beamish Museum won a £10.9 million grant from the National Lottery’s Heritage Fund and announced a massive expansion plan that is to include a 1950s town, a reconstructed coaching inn, a Weardale farm and a 1950s trolleybus network.
In addition to all this, Beamish recently won the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year Award at the 2016 North East Tourism Awards.