Two of the city’s most-loved visitor attractions have enjoyed a bumper start to the school summer holidays.
Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens received 12,436 visitors in the first week of the holidays - a 29 per cent increase on the same period last year.
And it was equally busy at Monkwearmouth Station Museum, which saw a 25 per cent rise in visitor numbers.
Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “These figures are great news for both museums. But there is a much more important story to tell.
“Each of those visitors is someone who has been exited by our heritage and culture, someone who has been to our museums and learnt about our city’s exciting history or about the work of a skilled artist.
“These figures show more than anything else that our museums and their talented staff have the power to really captivate young and old alike.”
Popular attractions at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens include the Canaletto masterpiece A Regatta on the Grand Canal. The stunning painting, which dates back to 1740, is visiting Sunderland from the National Gallery until September 13. The venue is one of only three in the country to host the painting.
Also causing a stir is the Jurassic Garden dinosaur-themed event, which runs until September 6. Visitors can see a baby T Rex as it hatches from its giant egg, watch a stegosaurus and a triceratops grazing on the greenery and spot some pteranodons flying over-head, while also tracking down a velociraptor.
Both Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens and Monkwearmouth Station Museum are free to enter.