You are here:  >   >   > 

Press Releases

Record 1.75 million visits to Wales' National Museums

The number of people visiting Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’ sites is continuing to rise, with figures reaching a record high of 1.75 million visits in 2012-13 (9% above target).

Over the last 12 months, Amgueddfa Cymru’s seven museums collectively welcomed over 50,000 more visitors than in 2011 - 12, with four of the museums enjoying their best years ever (National Museum Cardiff, NationalWaterfrontMuseum in Swansea, NationalWoolMuseum in Dre-fach Felindre and the NationalRomanLegionMuseum in Caerleon).

NationalMuseumCardiff, which has developed its offer with a new National Museum of Art, refreshed natural history galleries and a strong changing programme of exhibitions and family events welcomed a record 477,399 visitors. The number of visitors to the city centre Museum has grown significantly over the last two years with an increase of 29% since 2010 – 11.

The NationalWaterfrontMuseum in Swansea with its strong events programme, reached a total of 271,452 visitors - 6% more than the previous year. Playing an important role in the local community, the industrial NationalWool Museum in Drefach Felindre attracted an impressive 34,309 visitors - an extra 3,931 visitors. The NationalRomanLegionMuseum also achieved its best ever visitor figures, with 71,992 people welcomed by the Museum in Caerleon.

St Fagans: National History Museum’s successes came in July 2012 when it was given the largest ever grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales to redevelop the site, then in September when it was named the UK’s most loved museum by the consumer magazine Which?. In addition, 2012 – 13 saw the National Slate Museum celebrating its 40th Anniversary and the Olympic Torch Relay at Big Pit: NationalCoalMuseum.

“In 2012, we celebrated 1.69 million visits as the highest total ever recorded since free entry was introduced in April 2001,” said David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

“I am delighted that we’ve succeeded in breaking yet another record this year, which is testimony to the quality of the service delivered by the Museums and the true value of the Welsh Government’s free entry policy.

“Breaking records such as these motivates us to continue to deliver for the people of Wales. We must remain relevant to all, not only appealing to our existing audiences but also attracting new visitors to interact with the national collections, which, after all belong to the people of Wales!”

Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths, added:

"Congratulations to Amgueddfa Cymru on these fantastic visitor figures. Our museums have an important role to play in profiling the culture and history of Wales locally, nationally and internationally.

“Free entry to the sites of Amgueddfa Cymru was introduced to enable everyone to enjoy the nation's rich heritage of arts, sciences and social and industrial history.

“I am delighted to see that this policy continues to attract visitors to Amgueddfa Cymru and in turn our rich cultural history ."

Amgueddfa Cymru is looking forward to another exciting 12 months, not least with the start of the work on redeveloping St Fagans into a NationalHistoryMuseum for Wales, which has attracted nearly £12million of Heritage Lottery Fund support and £7million from the Welsh Government. Over the next five years, a new entrance hall, gallery spaces and a medieval Welsh Prince’s hall will be added to its collections of over 40 historic buildings.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven national museums across Wales. These are National Museum Cardiff; St Fagans: National History Museum; National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon; Big Pit: National Coal Museum; Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre; National Slate Museum, Llanberis; National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

Admission to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’s Museums is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Government.

Date: 10 April 2013
« Back to news headlines
  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    Big Pit

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.