Two families in a museum surrounded by old shops and vehicles.

Hull Museums are celebrating after seeing visitor numbers across their sites exceed pre-lockdown numbers.

The busy year saw over 383,000 people visit the city’s free museums and galleries, up 13 per cent on 2019/20. It also saw the Museums Quarter sites – Streetlife Museum, Hull and East Riding Museum of Archaeology and Wilberforce House Museum attract their highest visitor figures since 2017/18, with over 228,000 people visiting the sites, up nine per cent on 2018/19.

The Ferens Art Gallery saw over 151,000 visitors in the year, up 12 per cent on 2019/20. Highlights including the hugely popular Discover Ancient Egypt season, the Art and Environment season, artist in residence and the Jason Wilsher-Mills: Are we there Yet, currently on display at the gallery have contributed to these impressive numbers.

Over at the Museums Quarter, the reopening of Wilberforce House in May 2023 following essential maintenance work, as well as temporary exhibitions at Wilberforce and Streetlife Museum including Taking the Knee, Women Who Inspire Us and Why We Matter, alongside a programme of free events throughout the year including large scale events like Medieval Mayhem and Victorian Christmas, have helped to attract record numbers of visitors to the museums.  

The increase in visitor figures rounds off a fantastic year for Hull Museums who have recently seen the Wilberforce House Museum awarded the National Museum Association’s Museums Change Lives award 2023, as well as being highly commended at the Museum and Heritage Awards this year. In addition, the Museum and Gallery’s Visitor Experience Team recently won the Hull Bid award for Customer Service Excellence.

Museums and Gallery Manager Jane Avison said “We’re delighted to see the museums attracting such high numbers of visitors, and to have beaten the pre-lockdown visitor figures is fantastic news. We’ve got lots of exciting exhibitions and events coming up over the next 12 months and we look forward to welcoming even more people.”

Cllr Rob Pritchard, portfolio holder for culture and leisure said: “Our free museums and galleries are amongst some of the best in the country and its fantastic to see they are appreciated by our residents and visitors to the city.

“These staggering figures are down the fantastic offer from our Hull Museums teams, with first class exhibitions and free events offered throughout the year. I’m excited to see what 2024/25 has in store.”

Published: Wednesday, 29th May 2024