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.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“When we think of our local museums and galleries, we should never forget what great cultural assets we have on our doorsteps. As well as helping us enjoy more fulfilling lives, and making Leeds and West Yorkshire such a great place to live, our museums and arts play an important and often overlooked role in supporting the regional economy.”
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.
The video ‘West Yorkshire Museums’ can be found on YouTube. 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, Heptonstall 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.