The Wilson "exceeds all expectations", more than 10,000 visitors in first 10 days
The Wilson has “exceeded all expectations” since its opening with more than 10,000 people paying the art gallery and museum a visit.
The culture hub in Clarence Street only opened on October 5 and in a 10 day period an estimated 1,000 visitors took a trip to look around every single day.
Three hundred visitors went through the doors within The Wilson’s first hour of opening after its £6 million refurbishment.
And that set a precedent that doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
Gents, come in to Earl's & Co and enjoy a haircut and finish, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £18.50
Terms: Later and earlier appointments available upon request
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
In comparison, the old version of the art gallery and museum had 70,000 visitors in its last full year before it closed, equivalent to about 200 people a day.
Jane Lillystone, museum arts and tourism manager, said: "The Wilson has certainly created a buzz for Cheltenham.
“We've had over 10,000 visitors since it opened, which has exceeded all our expectations.
“Many have come to see the new building as well as those coming back to reacquaint themselves with their favourite collections such as the arts and crafts.
“The new shows such as Casting Brilliance by Colin Reid, The Open West and The Times Newseum are very popular.
“Visitors are saying how fantastic The Wilson is and how good it is for Cheltenham.”
Cheltenham Borough Council is hoping The Wilson will boost tourism and help to position the town on the international culture stage.
Ms Lillystone explained: “The new galleries enable Cheltenham to become a major venue for national and international touring exhibitions.
“We want The Wilson to become a cultural hub for the town - a place where everyone is welcome - and so far this seems to be the case.”
Despite only opening less than two weeks ago The Wilson is already preparing for its next exhibitions.
In mid-November there will be a new display in the Friends Gallery highlighting paintings from the gallery’s own archive.
Meanwhile, the paper store is also due to open next month, showing off archives of “previously unseen artefacts”.
Councillor Rowena Hay (LD, Oakley), cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “The Wilson creates a fantastic new centre for Cheltenham, through its extensive galleries and enhanced facilities, including its partnerships with the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen, the University of Gloucestershire and the re-location of the town’s tourism services.
“It's the perfect destination for local residents and visitors to Gloucestershire and the wider Cotswolds.
"All that The Wilson has to offer is incredibly exciting for Cheltenham."
The gallery has received largely positive reviews since opening, including from Peter Bazalgette, chair of Arts Council England, who told the Echo: “The Wilson is a magnificent space, a sympathetic exterior design and with two very imaginative opening exhibitions.
“It will be great when Rodin's The Kiss arrives.”