Over 8,000 visitors have been attracted to the Siege Museum during a successful first year at its new premises in Society Street.
The positive 12-month performance has seen tourists, students and tour groups drawn from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, China, Norway, Malta, South Africa and even the Falkland Islands
Dedicated to commemorating the history of the Siege of Londonderry and the cultural heritage of the Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, the museum features audio visuals, touchscreens, artefacts and scale models.
In a further anniversary fillip, the attraction has been presented with a second 4 Star Visitor Experience award by Tourism NI.
Billy Moore, chairman of the Siege Museum Management Committee, said: “Our thanks to Tourism NI for this fantastic award. I believe this accolade shows how much we have grown since the Apprentice Boys presented their first exhibitions for visitors over a decade ago.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to all the staff, members of the Management Committee and our volunteers who have helped the Siege Museum to achieve so much in our first year in the new building. To secure a 4 Star Visitor Experience grade for the second time demonstrates the exceptional quality of our museum; it is a great boost for everyone.
“I am confident that we will see a huge increase in the popularity of the Siege Museum in the coming years as we become one of the ‘must see’ attractions in the city.”
The award is seen as recognition of the exhibitions and staff who have welcomed thousands of people through the doors.
Mervyn Storey MLA, former Minister for Social Development, opened the Siege Museum on March 11 2016 and he sent his best wishes.
“Congratulation to the Siege Museum on their first year open at the new venue and another well deserved 4 Star Visitor Experience rating from Tourism NI,” said Mr Storey.
“The museum is a tremendous asset to the cultural heritage of Londonderry and Northern Ireland and I am delighted that Tourism NI have recognised it as such an excellent venue. It was a privilege to be asked to perform the opening ceremony last March and I wish the Siege Museum many more years of success in the future.”
The Society Street team will not be resting on their laurels with a fresh range of events planned for the summer.
Keith Beattie, museum manager, explained: “Thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, our museum will be launching a series of exciting new projects in 2017. We also have a fantastic new outreach vehicle which we will be taking to major public festivals and tourist attractions across the country, helping us to promote the museum and the unique and proud history of Londonderry.”
The Siege Museum Management Committee extended thanks to the Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys and funders for their continued support including Derry City & Strabane District Council, Urban Villages Initiative, The Executive Office and Heritage Lottery Fund.