THE Great North Museum has shot past its annual target of 300,000 visitors in less than three months.
Since opening on May 23, more than 400,000 people have visited the Newcastle museum, with between 5,000 and 10,000 visitors each day.
Professor Paul Younger, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Newcastle University and chairman of the Great North Museum Board, said: “Given the quality of the collections and the strength of the partnership that delivered the project, the university was always confident the museum would be a big success.
“However, the actual response of visitors has far exceeded anything we dared to hope for. We are absolutely thrilled to have struck a chord with so many people”.
Ged Bell, chairman of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, said: “The public reaction has been overwhelming and we are really grateful to everyone who is supporting us with such enthusiasm.” Prof Peter Davis, chairman of the Natural History Society of Northumbria whose collections are on display in the £26m museum, said the public’s response demonstrated the affection there is for the institution. He said: “It is marvellous to walk through the museum and see so many people of all ages enjoying the revitalized exhibitions.”
The new museum brings together the North East’s premier collections of archaeology, natural history, geology and world cultures. It incorporates collections from the original Hancock Museum, and Newcastle University’s former Museum of Antiquities and the Shefton Greek Museum.
Currently on show is Lindow Man: Body of Evidence. On loan from the British Museum, it features the well preserved body of a man from the First Century which was found in a peat bog.