40,000 visitors at new arts venue
The £18 million MAC arts venue in Belfast has welcomed 40,000 people through its doors in its first few weeks of business, staff have revealed.
The state-of-the-art venue was hailed at its opening as a premier attraction of international standard.
Now it has been revealed its early visitor numbers have exceeded expectations, with more than 40,000 attending the city centre venue in just over a month.
In the first three days alone, almost 5,000 people visited the MAC which has three art galleries, two theatres, plus additional facilities including a cafe.
Roisin McDonough, chief executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: "As principal funder of the MAC, the Arts Council is thrilled with visitor numbers to the new state-of-the-art venue in the first month of opening.
"The £5.25 million that the Arts Council has invested in the MAC will continue to stimulate the economy through a more attractive cultural tourism offering, while people here will benefit from the fabulous opportunities available to participate in and enjoy the arts.
"With a very exciting season programme planned for the year ahead, the impressive visitor figures look set to continue."
The MAC's chief executive, Anne McReynolds, said: "We are delighted and overwhelmed with our visitor numbers to date and indeed people's response to the building.
"The MAC has been 10 years in the making and the team have been working so hard on what is a new concept for Northern Ireland.
"To see such high visitor numbers in the first month makes it all worthwhile."