OVER 17,000 Bradford pupils have visited the district’s museums through a series of educational programmes in the past year.

And there has been a huge increase of school visits to Cartwright Hall Gallery in Lister Park, a rise attributed to the opening of the David Hockney Gallery last summer.

Since the permanent gallery dedicated to the Bradford artist opened in July there has been an increase of 85 per cent in visitor numbers at Cartwright Hall, and a 41 per cent increase in the numbers of children attending through school trips.

The figures are detailed in the latest update of Bradford Council’s Cultural Strategy, which also highlights recent programmes done in the district’s theatres and the numerous festivals and public events held in Bradford.

It shows that between April and the end of February, 17,500 pupils attend Bradford Museums through the Learning Programme. These museums include Cartwright Hall, Bolling Hall, Bradford Industrial Museum and Cliffe Castle Museum in Keighley. Events included heritage days and workshops at the different museums, and an increasing number of secondary schools are now arranging museum visits.

The report says: “The conception of the David Hockney Gallery has ensured the engagement and participation of local

communities and schools with the design process and authentic personal narrative that only Cartwright Hall has with Hockney.”

Other successes mentioned in the report include the Splendours of the Sub Continent exhibition at Cartwright Hall, attracting 30,000 visitors last Spring, and the re-opening of Cliffe Castle Park.

The report also reveals that there are 100 active volunteers working in Bradford’s museums, with the oldest being 88.

It also gives an update on Bradford City of Film and the rise in productions being filmed in the district. The report says: “The Bradford Film Office has seen its busiest year to date with 35 film and TV productions basing themselves in Bradford District, resulting in double the number of filming days spent in the city last year. This was good news economically for Bradford with local hotels, services and facilities all benefitting.”

The report will be discussed by the Council’s Regeneration and Economy Overview and Scrutiny

Committee, which meets in City Hall at 6pm tomorrow.