West Yorkshire's Local Museums Contributing Multi-Millions To Economy
West Yorkshire's local authority museums contributed over £34 million to the regional economy last year and attracted over 1.7 million visitors through their doors.
The information has been released on a new video highlighting the amazing attractions across the county and encouraging people to take pride in their local museums and galleries.
Senior councillors and arts leaders today welcomed the news.
In the Wakefield district, as well as supporting the local economy by attracting visitors, our museums and castles provide an important link for local residents to our rich and diverse heritage. Our museums also play a key role in addressing wider social agendas such as health and well-being, inclusiveness, diversity and provide exciting opportunities to learn and develop skills and experience.
Cllr Jacquie Speight, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Wakefield Council, said: "I am proud of the wealth of great attractions in our district. Our castles and museums bring thousands of visitors to the district each year and contribute so much to the lives of local people.
"We have an exciting programme of events, including a newly opened exhibition of portraits by Sir Quentin Blake of characters created by Roald Dahl, which has just opened at Wakefield Museum thanks to our partnership with the British Library, and is the only place where it can be seen in West Yorkshire.
"We are also proud to be home to the world-famous Yorkshire Sculpture Park at West Bretton and The Hepworth Wakefield, which houses the authorities' fine art collections; both are hugely popular and promote a culture of excellence and learning about the arts."
Sarah Maxfield Area Director, North, Arts Council England added: "England has some of the finest regional museums in the world, with extraordinary collections ranging from the earliest prehistory to modern art and science. It's great to see the social and economic benefits West Yorkshire's museums provide presented in such a creative and lively way in this video."
West Yorkshire's museums burst with world history, culture and local heritage, from prehistoric monsters and treasures of Ancient Rome and Egypt to a real Victorian street. From liquorice in Pontefract to the Duke of Wellington's very own Wellington boots in Halifax.
Local art galleries house masterpieces by Moore and Lowry in Huddersfield, Hockney in Bradford and one of the best British art collections outside London in Leeds. Other attractions include historic halls and houses, watermills and ruined monasteries, castles and country estates, as well as beautiful parkland walks.
Notes for editors:
The video 'West Yorkshire Museums' can be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/OD1iHWTZPEA
The video has been made by WYLAMP – the West Yorkshire Local Authority Museum Partnership. WYLAMP partners believe that by working together and sharing strengths, they can provide the best possible museum service for West Yorkshire.
WYLAMP's members are: Bradford Museums and Galleries; Calderdale Museums; Kirklees Museums and Galleries; Leeds Museums and Galleries; Wakefield Museums
The museums, historic houses and art galleries operated by the five West Yorkshire local authorities include:
Bradford: Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Cliffe Castle Museum, Bradford industrial museum, Bolling Hall Museum.
Calderdale: Bankfield Museum, Shibden Hall, Smith Art Gallery, Heptsonstall Museum, Duke of Wellington's Regimental Museum.
Kirklees: Bagshaw Museum, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Oakwell Hall and Country Park, Tolson Museum.
Leeds: Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds City Museum, Leeds Discovery Centre, Leeds Industrial Museum, Lotherton Hall, Temple Newsam, Thwaite Mills Watermill.
Wakefield: Castleford Museum, Pontefract Museum, Pontefract Castle, Wakefield Museum.
West Yorkshire's museums, galleries and historic houses regularly feature in surveys of the most visited free and paid visitor attractions in the region.
The £34 Million figure has been calculated using the AIM Economic Impact of the Independent Museum Sector Toolkit 2014.
*The Quentin Blake exhibition at Wakefield Museum has been made possible through the Living Knowledge Network, a partnership between the British Library and public libraries around the UK.