Fresh from unveiling its fourth season as UK City of Culture 2017, Hull is revealing just how successful the year has been so far, transforming the city into one of the UK’s hottest visitor destinations.
Hull has just announced details of its fourth “Season” – Tell the World, (October to December 2017), with highlights including the Turner Prize 2017, new spectacular public art installations and the world premiere of John Godber’s latest stage play.
News of yet more major commissions and celebrated artists heading to Hull comes as the city reveals that the success of the year so far has exceeded all expectations and fuelled a tourism boom for Yorkshire’s regenerated maritime city.
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Museums and Hull History Centre have already welcomed their one-millionth visitor, just eight months into Hull’s big year – making it the busiest year for the service since records began in 1960.
But City of Culture events as well as new art installations and new-look public spaces and refurbished venues have helped boost visitor numbers right across the city. Figures compiled by the University of Hull show that more than 1.4m visitors attended cultural events and activities during the first three months of City of Culture.
Other findings from the University, which is the Academic Research Partner for Hull 2017, suggest that being UK City of Culture is also bringing a feelgood factor and increased confidence to the city.
Now, new statistics released by Hull Museums show that the city’s success is continuing, with Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Museums and Hull History Centre beating expectations by reaching one million visitors in just eight months. It had been anticipated that it would take until the end of 2017 to hit that milestone, but delivering the result four months ahead of schedule is testament to the amount of interest in Hull during 2017.
The busiest day on record was 21 January 2017 with 12,805 visits to all the museums and art gallery, and coincides with the opening of the Francis Bacon and Open Exhibition on display at Ferens Art Gallery. The busiest day at a single site was Saturday 14 January 2017, the first day Ferens Art Gallery was open with 6,215 visits, following a £5.2m refurbishment. The gallery also attracted 175,793 visits between 22 April and 13 August whilst the SKIN exhibition, featuring works by world renowned artists Spencer Tunick, Ron Mueck and Lucian Freud, was on display.
“Season 4” of City of Culture is set to give visitor numbers another boost, especially the arrival of one of the world’s most renowned art prizes – the Turner Prize – at the Ferens Art Gallery (26 September – 7 January 2018).
Tell the World also brings theatre and live performance, literature, visual art, festivals, spectacle and more, including new plays from Maxine Peake, Tanika Gupta and James Graham at Hull Truck Theatre; a John Godber world premiere plus Opera North and the Northern Ballet at Hull New Theatre, newly re-opened after a £16 million rebuild; and a new exhibition at Humber Street Gallery in partnership with international photography co-operative Magnum Photos.
For details of places to stay and things to do: www.visit-hull.com.
To keep up to date with Hull UK City of Culture events, see http://hull2017.co.uk.