A Heavy Metal art exhibition hosted at the New Art Gallery Walsall last summer injected over £1million into the local economy, figures have revealed.
Over 36,000 visitors attended the Home of Metal solo exhibition by artist Mark Titchner at the gallery between July and September last year and over 4,700 of the visitors stayed in overnight accommodation.
Leisure chiefs have today welcomed the findings and say that the figures reinforce the New Art Gallery’s status as being a major contributor to the local economy.
The exhibition, called Be True To Your Oblivion, was presented as part of Home of Metal, a celebration of the music that was born in the Black Country and Birmingham. Created and produced by Capsule, the project brought people together to share their passion and to explore themes of Heavy Metal through exhibitions, film screenings, a conference and family friendly activities.
The New Art Gallery Walsall regularly collects visitor information throughout the year but this is the first time data has been collected on visitor behaviour and spend. The economic impact assessment was endorsed by Arts Council West Midlands and the gallery was one of the first organisations in the region to trial it.
Stephen Snoddy, director of New Art Gallery Walsall, said today: “The gallery had never before attempted to calculate and measure its impact on the local economy. The Mark Titchner exhibition and the Home of Metal season proved the perfect opportunity to ‘test-drive’ this new fascinating toolkit and attempt to accurately capture the gallery’s contribution to the local economy.
“The results confirm that the gallery plays a major role in attracting visitors to Walsall and plays a huge role in boosting the local economy,” he added.
Staff at the gallery now plan to carry out similar calculations with future events and exhibitions so that the composite impact in a year can be estimated and the impact of different activities can be compared.
Data was collected through face to face interviews by trained interviewers in the gallery using a paper survey which had 25 questions. The respondents included visitors and participants to the exhibitions and associated activities.
The New Art Gallery Walsall is open five days a week and welcomes visitors from all over the globe. It aims to increase the understanding and enjoyment of arts and culture through its dynamic exhibition, learning and event programme.