A report has found that museums in St Albans boosted the local economy almost £3 million in the last financial year.

The Annual Museum Survey, carried out by South West Museum Development, found that St Albans Museum + Gallery attracted 122,056 visitors, who spent £1.85 million in shops, pubs, hotels, restaurants, cafés and other businesses around the city centre.

Verulamium Museum and the Hypocaust attracted a further 74,048 visitors during the same period, spending an estimated £1.12 million.

South West Museum Development gathered the figures by using the Association of Independent Museum’s calculator for establishing visitor spend.

Both Museums are owned and run by St Albans City and District Council, with councillor Allison Wren, lead councillor for museums, delighted to see them provide for businesses in the city.

“The important role our museums play in boosting the local economy has been highlighted by the Annual Museum Survey,” she said.

“I am delighted that our local businesses benefited to the tune of almost £3 million last year as they battled to recover from the effects of the pandemic. That is a significant cash injection which they would not otherwise receive.

“It shows our museums are not only great cultural assets, but they also have a very favourable economic impact.

“This will continue as we have many exciting events and exhibitions lined up to keep visitors coming to the city centre, both from other parts of the district and from further away.”

The Museum + Gallery opened four years ago in the Grade II-listed Town Hall, with figures showing the museum is now paying back the £7.75 million spent during the redevelopment project.

Set over three floors, it has staged many major events, with an exhibition of the celebrated artist Henry Moore’s drawings due to start later this month.

Verulamium Museum showcases the city’s Roman heritage and includes displays of stunning mosaics and other ancient treasures.

To find out more about St Albans Musuem + Gallery, visit www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk/visit/st-albans-museum-gallery.

To find out more about the Verulamium Museum and Hypocaust, visit www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk/visit/verulamium-museum.