Tayside and Central Scotland

V&A Dundee hits 500,000 visitor landmark after six months

V&A Image copyright Julie Howden
Image caption The V&A has been a huge hit since it opened in September

Dundee's V&A museum has welcomed half a million visitors since it opened, reaching the milestone almost six months earlier than expected.

The 500,000th person to walk through the doors of Scotland's first design museum was officially recorded at 10:35 on Saturday.

V&A Dundee, which opened on 15 September last year, has vastly exceeded original visitor estimates.

It was initially forecast it would take 12 months to reach the milestone.

More than a quarter of the visitors to the building, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, have come from the rest of the UK or overseas.

V&A Dundee director Philip Long said: "It has been an extraordinary opening period for V&A Dundee and the support from visitors has surpassed all expectations.

"Amazingly we have welcomed half a million visitors to the museum in a little over six months, our inaugural exhibition has been seen by almost 100,000 people and crowds of over 22,000 turned out to take part in our opening celebrations.

"V&A Dundee is flourishing as a hub of creativity and learning and it's wonderful to see so many people enjoying it, with many returning time and time again.

"This is just the beginning for V&A Dundee, and the dedicated team behind the museum will continue with our mission to enhance lives through design and to inspire as many people as possible to get involved."

Image copyright Julie Howden
Image caption Forecasts had suggested it would take the V&A a year to reach the 500,000 visitor milestone

To date 375,000 visitors have explored V&A Dundee's Scottish Design Galleries, which tell Scotland's international design story.

The museum's inaugural exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, was seen by 95,766 people.

V&A Dundee has also held more than 300 events including public lectures, design workshops, tours and school visits and 7,500 museum memberships have already been issued.

The next major exhibition, Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, opens on Saturday 20 April.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dundee-born actor Brian Cox was among the first visitors when the museum opened in September

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "V&A Dundee is a powerful symbol of Dundee's new confidence and is not only raising the national and international profile of the city but is increasing Scotland's attractiveness to tourists looking for world class cultural experiences.

"It's fantastic to see V&A Dundee breaking visitor numbers six months earlier than predicted, showing the incredible success of this prestigious new attraction and that there is a real interest in Scottish design.

"I congratulate those involved in making this such a valuable asset to Scotland in both cultural and economic terms and I look forward to seeing it continue to delight visitors for decades to come."

'Continuing opportunities'

Survey responses also show the opening of the museum has given its home city new confidence

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: "This is an incredible achievement for V&A Dundee in such a short time.

"We can see from the increased visitor numbers at other Dundee attractions that the city is certainly feeling the benefits of the opening of this superb new museum of design.

"Everyone is looking forward to the unveiling of V&A Dundee's new exhibition and partners in the city are working towards maximising the continuing opportunities for the area from these visitor numbers.

"This is just six months since the museum first opened. I can't wait to see what happens next."

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