Museum opens doors to most UK visitors

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The newly-revamped National Museum of Scotland was the most-visited UK attraction outside of London last year, new figures show.

The museum, which reopened in July 2011 after a £47 million refurbishment, welcomed just under 1.5m people by the end of the year, exceeding its original target of one million visitors.

The figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva) showed the museum experienced a 141 per cent increase in visitors.

Edinburgh Castle remained the most popular paid-for attraction in Scotland, with 1.3 million visitors.

Alva director Bernard Donoghue said: “Scottish attractions’ successes demonstrate very clearly that political and financial investment in building new attractions or refurbishing existing ones results in real returns on investment for the Scottish local and national economies.

“The Scottish Government, local authorities, the Scottish Lottery Heritage Fund and the attractions themselves have had the courage to invest in a difficult economic climate but their investment has been entirely justified.”