Tourism on the rise in Lincoln

Written by Jimmy Morris-Knight.

Tourism in Lincoln is booming after over 200,000 people visited tourism sites in Lincoln since April of last year.

The Museum of Lincolnshire Life. Photo: Ian Paterson
The Museum of Lincolnshire Life. Photo: Ian Paterson
Heritage workers and artists believe the sites, owned by Lincolnshire County Council, will continue to see an increase in visitors.

The council has seen an average of a 6% rise in visitors to their attractions in the centre of Lincoln, such as the Collection Gallery and the Lincolnshire Life Museum.

Jonathan Platt, Head of Libraries and Heritage for Lincolnshire County Council, spoke about the Lincolnshire Life Museum. He said:

“It’s a great exhibition programme and favourable weather conditions have contributed to its higher visitor figures.”

He believes that the success by the museum and the gallery has also been achieved by new investment from Art Council England’s Renaissance programme, which has included a new play area.

The collection museum is also using a new system to keep old and new visitors interested and interacting with a learning environment. This comes in the form of a hand-held electronic guidebook, also known as an I-guide.

I-guides have become a popular educational tool, with many local institutions and popular tourist attractions now using them.

Mr. Platt said: “The Lincolnshire Life Museum is soon to adopt I-guides and they are due to be ready for use in Easter.”

Although there is an average rise in visitors to Lincolnshire County Council’s sites this year, Lincoln Castle isn’t doing as well as they would have hoped. Its visiting numbers are currently down 3%.

Some would argue that the £20 million investment in the regeneration of the castle should have the castle seeing more visitors, and Mr. Platt agrees. He said:

“I have no doubt that the current £20 million investment at Lincoln Castle, has temporarily reduced the visitor number at present.”

“It will however pay off in an even bigger way in 2015.”

Refurbishment work taking place also includes a new vault to showcase the Magna Carta to visitors of the attraction. It is also reported that access to the castle will be free in the daytime, in order to increase and divert foot traffic to local shops and restaurants.

Tourists in Lincoln also seem to be very important to artists such as Lydia Bauman; owner of the former gallery named after her. She said:

“Tourism was always very important to me, particularly from the locals.”

“Those coming from other places would often only buy little things like post cards and such things but people in Lincoln would buy my bigger pieces of work.”

Peter Moss of the Sam Scorer Gallery said that connections within the art world are helping to bring tourists in. He said:

“We have seen a definite increase in the numbers of visitors over the past year; this is mainly due to a publication that we have been sending out, joint with other galleries.”

This is a positive sign for Lincoln and its artists. Charlotte Goy from Visit Lincoln stressed to how important Lincoln is and how it gets visitors hooked:

“Lincoln is a world class visitor destination, but also one of the best kept secrets in England. Visit once and we can almost guarantee that people will come back again and again,” she said.

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