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Coventry Museums Celebrate Record Half Term Visitors

24 February 2014

Coventry’s city centre museums are today celebrating, after enjoying their busiest ever February half term holiday.  Over the nine days of the school break, a total of over 33,000 people visited Coventry Transport Museum, the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, and the Priory Visitor Centre; three of the museums that are now run by the new Culture Coventry trust.

Throughout the nine days of the half term break, families enjoyed free art workshops at the Herbert, as well as storytelling, book readings and object handling.  Visitors to Coventry Transport Museum took part in winter sports-themed activities, and at the Priory Visitor Centre, kids learned about the history of optical illusions and made their own to take home. 

In addition to the family activities, hundreds of people flocked to see the three museums’ stunning permanent collections, as well as the Herbert’s two temporary exhibitions: Exposed – The Body In Art From Durer to Freud, which includes over 60 artworks from some of the world’s most well-known artists, and Walls With Wounds, a new fine art exhibition by former graffiti artist Dale vN Marshall, which opened earlier this month.

Gary Hall, Chief Executive of Culture Coventry said of the week:

“It was wonderful to see the Herbert, Coventry Transport Museum and the Priory Visitor Centre buzzing with family visitors throughout the half term break.  This record-breaking success is a testament to what has been achieved by bringing many of Coventry’s museums and historic sites together as a Charitable Trust managed by one team.  A huge amount of work went into planning the week’s activities, ensuring that there was ‘something for everyone’, and of course promoting what was on offer across the three venues.  We know that many local families visited more than one of our attractions during the week, including hundreds of people who were attending for the first time, prompted by joint marketing and great visitor service in all of our venues.  The half term family activities acted as a real driver to bring new visitors in to all of the museums, to explore the city’s unique collections and historic sites. 

“This is just the start of a really exciting year for Culture Coventry, which among other things will see an £8.5m redevelopment of Coventry Transport Museum and the 12th century Old Grammar School, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and European Regional Development Fund, as well as an inspiring range of new temporary exhibitions at the Herbert.  These include: the British Museum tour of Roman Empire: Power & People; as well as The Great War - Coventry’s Story, which is a commemoration of the role played by the people of Coventry during the First World War; and finally a new exhibition of photographs by Anglo-Indian photographer Jason Tilley.”

Cllr Ed Ruane, Cabinet Member for Housing and Heritage said of the week:

“I’m delighted to hear about the success of the half term activity and event programmes this week and it’s great to see our key city centre cultural attractions pulling record numbers in.  The big added benefit of course is that it all helps drive the city centre economy by bringing people into the city and spending money and time exploring the rest of what the city can offer. 

Congratulations to all those involved at Culture Coventry in making the week such a resounding success story.”

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