THE Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight has broken visitor records with an exhibition of work by 18th century landscape artist JMW Turner.

Turner: travels, light and landscape, has broken its own visitor target, with almost 10,000 more visitors than expected in the week before it closes on Sunday, June 1.

More than 48,000 people have flocked to catch the exquisite works by one of Britain’s most popular artists, an increase of more than 10,000 visitors.

Reaching a daily average of around 500 visitors, the exhibition contributed to the gallery achieving its busiest ever March this year, when it had more than 23,000 people through the door.

Director of Art Galleries, Sandra Penketh said: "We are thrilled by the success of Turner: travels, light and landscape.

“This exhibition has been on during an important moment in Lady Lever’s history, as we celebrated the centenary of its foundation stone (25 March) but also look towards an exciting future.

“This month we put our final submission to HLF for a major £2.8m improvement to the South End rooms.

“The runaway success of this exhibition is a strong recommendation that we’re leading the gallery in the right direction and giving our visitors the experience they want.”

Turner: travels, light and landscape comprises some 30 watercolours, paintings and prints, the exhibition is drawn from National Museums Liverpool’s own Turner collection, one of the most outstanding in the country.

Following initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), National Museums Liverpool is hoping to make £2.8m improvements, which will see 500 square metres of gallery space transformed and returned to its original architectural splendour.

The scheme, which promises a revamp of more than a quarter of the venue, would also see more than 1,700 items of fine and decorative art redisplayed and new educational resources developed for local schools and groups.

More on the project and how you can support it can be found at