City's newest museum, M shed, celebrates its first anniversary
BRISTOL'S M shed museum, which has become one of the region's top tourist attractions, celebrated its first anniversary at the weekend.
The £27 million museum in the city's docklands, has attracted more than 700,000 visitors since it opened last June.
Council leader Simon Cook, who was in charge of the project to open the new attraction, said: "M shed's outstanding first year is a tribute to all the people, volunteers, staff, trustees and sponsors who have worked hard to ensure its success.
"Its unique qualities have helped it to secure a place amongst the region's top visitor attractions. By being among the 'best of the best' M shed has given the city a massive cultural and economic boost."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Julie Finch, head of Bristol's Museums, Galleries and Archives, said: "The past 12 months have been incredibly busy – and incredibly successful – with amazing visitor numbers, a string of accolades and nominations for prestigious national and European awards.
"M shed is not just a new museum – it's a new kind of museum where people's stories and experiences help visitors to explore and discover for themselves the fascinating history of our city."
The museum missed out last month on being shortlisted for a coveted award worth £100,000 in prize money.
Of the ten museums in the running for the award, only four were shortlisted including The Hepworth Wakefield; the Royal Albert Memorial and Art Gallery in Exeter; the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh; and the Watts Gallery in Surrey.
M shed opened two years' late and millions of pounds over budget on the site of the former Industrial Museum near Prince Street bridge.
But despite its troubles before opening, it attracted nearly as many visitors in its first six weeks – 116,000 – as the former Industrial Museum had in a year.
In comparison, annual visitor numbers at Bristol's Museum and Art Gallery in Queens Road are in the region of 400,000 with major exhibitions such as the wildlife photographer of the year attracting more than 80,000.
The council thought that as many as 250,000 might visit M shed during the first year but now it is revising these estimates and it looks as though the magic million mark might be reached within 18 months.
Among the events which were being staged at the museum during the weekend was The BIG Make in which visitors, young and old, were invited to create sculptures using reclaimed materials.
There was also a skates and bikes event which featured demonstrations by the Crucial BMX Team.
The museum is spread over three floors with the three main galleries representing people, places and life.
One of the most popular exhibits is an aerial photograph of Bristol that is spread over the floor of the Bristol Places gallery.
The museum was eventually £8 million over budget and opened two years later than planned. A large proportion of the money – £11 million – came from the Heritage Lottery Fund.