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Number of visits to Leeds Museums beginning to increase to pre-pandemic levels

New figures have revealed that by the end of last year the numbers of people visiting the Royal Armouries Museum and Leeds City Museum were beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels.  

Statistics released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Leeds City Council show that both museums experienced an upturn in the number of visitors from May 2021 onwards.  

Background image: Pixabay / Source: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

In August, admission rates to The Royal Armouries in August 2021 increased by 4% compared to August 2019.  

This is the second highest number of monthly visits recorded by the Museum from January 2019- December 2021. 

Background image: Pixabay / Source: Leeds City Council

Despite admissions to Leeds City Museum not yet reaching pre-Covid levels, in August the Museum recorded their highest number of monthly visits since the outbreak of the virus in March 2020. 


Background image: Pixabay

Whilst Leeds City Museum recorded 27% more visitors than The Royal Armouries in 2019, in 2021 The Royal Armouries recorded 16% more visitors than Leeds City Museum. 

Despite these increased rates, in December the Emergency Resource Support Fund was extended. 

This made £30 million more available to support museums in response to the Omicron wave. 

The figures show that both Leeds museums were impacted by this, as a drop in visitor rates were recorded compared to the previous months.

Sharon Heal, the director of the Museums Association, said: “Many museums saw a big drop in attendance over the festive season, with cancellations of bookings and events over the Christmas and the New Year. Some museums were forced to close their doors altogether because of lack of staff.”

However, now that isolation laws have been lifted in England – what impact will this have on visitor rates?

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