Scottish National Portrait Gallery beats target for visitors

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The refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery has reached its target of 300,000 visitors three months early.

The building in Edinburgh’s Queen Street reopened in December after a £17.6 million transformation. It set a target to bring 300,000 people through the doors in the first year after reopening – a 
50 per cent rise on average numbers before the refurbishment.

The gallery’s director, Christopher Baker, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have reached this important target so rapidly.

“It is a measure of the outstanding success of the redeveloped portrait gallery and the appeal of its extraordinary collections that it should have welcomed so many visitors.”

Designed by architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the gallery opened in 1889 and features portraits of well-known Scots from throughout the ages. It closed for restoration in April 2009.

Visitor number 300,000 was Nick Leitch, of Edinburgh, who was rewarded with lunch in the restaurant, gifts from the shop and a tour of the building.

“I came with my wife and kids on the day the gallery reopened and we have been regular visitors ever since. It’s a wonderful building and a great addition to Edinburgh,” he said.