The Hepworth Wakefield
, Yorkshires major new art gallery, has welcomed its 100,000th visitor - less than five weeks since it opened.
This milestone has outstripped expectations with visitor numbers now looking to far exceed the first year target of 150,000.
Husband and wife, Michael and Christine Slater from Thornes in Wakefield were the two lucky visitors who took the numbers past 100,000 when they entered the gallery at 2pm on Friday 24 June.
Michael Slater said: We just popped along to The Hepworth to have a quick look around. We had no idea wed end up being the 100,000th visitor to the gallery. Having seen inside, Id say to anyone whos not been, come and have a look; its well worth a visit.
The couple have won a years membership to the gallery and a special Hepworth Wakefield goody bag, including artist materials kindly donated by Supplies Team Solutions, based in Normanton.
Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield said: We are absolutely thrilled to reach the 100,000 milestone so early into our opening year. Weve had visitors travelling far and wide, including Japan, France and even Australia to spend a cultural weekend in Yorkshire, to enjoy The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery.
He added: While its a great achievement, we know we have to continue the hard work to ensure we build on this early success and continue putting Wakefield and Yorkshire on the map.
The gallery has already provided a huge boost for the local economy. With tourists visiting a top national attraction like The Hepworth Wakefield spending an estimated average of £21 each, the first 100,000 visitors to the gallery will have generated £2m worth of income for the local economy, with money being spent in local shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs, other attractions and hotels.