V&A Dundee welcomes 830,000 visitors in first year

The museum celebrates its first anniversary on September 15.

The V&A Dundee design museum welcomed more than 830,000 visitors in its first year, far exceeding the numbers expected.

Figures released as the museum celebrates its first anniversary showed that 833,015 people have made visits over the past 12 months, 330,000 more than predicted.

The museum is estimated to have had an economic impact of £23 million across Scotland in its first year, supporting 604 full-time equivalent jobs.

Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the £80 million attraction was officially opened by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last year.

Royal visit to Dundee
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with museum founding chairwoman Lesley Knox (left) and director Philip Long (right) during a visit to officially open the V and A Dundee (Jane Barlow/PA)

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “The last 12 months have been remarkable and I can hardly believe all that’s been achieved in that time.

“As well as welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors and putting on world-class exhibitions championing Scottish and international design, the museum has really become part of the city, and for that I’d like to thank everyone for their support.

“We’re very proud of the contribution we have already made to Dundee and Scotland, and the opportunities we are generating for our nation’s creative talent, such as our current exhibition of work by the brilliant young fashion designer Nicholas Daley.

“We look forward to welcoming many more visitors to our upcoming major exhibitions Hello, Robot and Mary Quant.”

The museum has welcomed 36% of its visitors from Dundee and Tayside, 41% from the rest of Scotland, 14% from the rest of the UK and 9% from the rest of the world, according to the most recent figures.

V&A Dundee
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also visited the museum (Jane Barlow/PA)

Four in 10 (41%) of visitors said V&A Dundee was the sole reason they were visiting the city.

Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The opening of V&A Dundee on the city’s waterfront heralded an exciting new chapter for Dundee and the future of design and innovation across our nation.

“As Scotland’s first design museum, V&A Dundee celebrates this heritage and our achievements in innovation across the ages, promoting Scotland globally and attracting visitors and investment.

“I congratulate V&A Dundee on its incredible first year of success and I look forward to its future exhibitions and development.”

Later this year, V&A Dundee will open Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine on November 2, an exhibition challenging our assumptions about robots and investigating how they are shaping the world we live in.

The exhibition has never been shown in the UK before.

This will be followed by Mary Quant from April 4 2020 and Night Fever: Designing Club Culture from October 31 2020, another UK-first exhibition.

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