Free admission was introduced for the Victoria & Albert Museum on 22 November and other charging museums on 1 December 2001.
Releasing the figures this morning, culture secretary Tessa Jowell said that in the first month of free admission, visitors numbers doubled on average, compared with the same period last year.
Jowell said: ‘Given the enormous improvements that have been made to many of the former charging museums in recent years, it is particularly satisfying that we have been able to introduce free admission now.
‘To take just one example, two adults visiting the new British Galleries at the V&A would have had to pay Pounds 10 before free admission. Now they can see these marvellous exhibits without incurring any financial charge.’
Between December 2000 and December 2001, the Victoria and Albert Museum saw visitor numbers rise from 42,623 to 174,249, at the Royal Armouries at Leeds and Fort Nelson numbers jumped from 7,365 to 18,734 while at the Imperial War Museum numbers rose from 31,145 to 44,046.
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