Aberdeen Art Gallery

Revitalised Aberdeen Art Gallery welcomes over 100,000 visitors in first 100 days

Article: David Styles | Image: (L-R) Councillor Marie Boulton, Ceilidh Jeffrey and Christine Rew © Aberdeen City Council

Aberdeen Art Gallery reopened to the public on 2nd November 2019. Since then it has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors through the doors – and taken a sizeable step towards surpassing its target for the first year.

More than 100,000 visitors have been to Aberdeen Art Gallery in the institution’s first 100 days since reopening. If current trends continue, the goal of welcoming 235,000 visitors in the first year looks well within the Gallery’s grasp.

It was Ceilidh Jeffrey, a final year journalism student at the city’s Robert Gordon University, who became the unsuspecting landmark visitor. “It was great, especially on my first time in the gallery. I thought at first I was being called over as I’d done something wrong as soon as I’d walked in so it was fantastic to find out I was the 100,000th visitor,” she stated.

The big build

The £34.6 million redesign project, which was funded principally by Aberdeen City Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, saw the doors to Aberdeen’s Art Gallery, Cowdray Hall and Remembrance Hall close back in 2015.

The Gallery has been a “huge success since its opening in November,” according to Jo Robinson, VisitScotland regional director. “I am delighted, though unsurprised, to hear it has already attracted 100,000 visitors,” she continued.

“It is so important that we create world-class experiences, events and attractions to keep up with the ever-changing visitor demands. The Gallery is already proving a great draw for our visitors as there is something for every age group to enjoy, with frequently-changing exhibitions, speakers and events.”

This level of positivity was echoed by Caroline Clark, director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Scotland, who said: “Not for a minute did we imagine it would reach this incredible milestone quite so soon. It is a real testimony to the thirst people have for exploring and celebrating their heritage and a fitting reward for all who have contributed to the project’s success.”