Len Lye Centre is the jewel in the crown of the New Zealand art and culture

New Plymouth's multi-million dollar Len Lye Centre smashed expectations for visitor numbers in its first year of operations. Last month, a total of 151,417 visitors had made their way through the doors of the internationally-acclaimed gallery - 55,000 more than predicted.

Council's Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner said the Len Lye Centre had quickly joined the ranks of the region's best attractions and was having an effect on New Plymouth's retail sector. "And of course the building itself is so spectacular - it has clearly joined the likes of the Wind Wand and Te Rewa Rewa Bridge as one of our district icons and most photographed structures.

In addition to exceptional visitor numbers, the New Plymouth District Council won a national award for Best Creative Place at the Local Government New Zealand EXCELLENCE Awards, held in Dunedin recently. The award recognised the contribution arts and culture initiatives can make towards creating a more prosperous town, city, district or region.

The judges praised the Len Lye Centre as "an internationally significant place for the city" and heaped praise on the council's execution of the plan to see it built as a benefit to the area. They said the centre was a wonderful partner for the Puke Ariki Museum and acknowledged the commitment from the community in raising funds for it.
Source: Taranaki Daily News