Richard III reburial sees Leicester Cathedral visitor numbers soar

The 'ongoing fascination' with King Richard III has seen a rise in people visiting Leicester Cathedral according to new data compiled by Visit Britain, a national tourism agency funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

In March 2015, the mortal remains of King Richard III were reinterred at Leicester Cathedral, two and a half years after they were discovered by University archaeologists in a car park in Leicester.

According to the survey, more than 220,000 people visited the Cathedral in 2015, which is an increase of 414 per cent compared with 2014, which recorded 42,800 visitors.

Liz Hudson of Leicester Cathedral said: "The ongoing fascination with the king so maligned by Shakespeare has led to thousands of visitors coming to see his tomb."

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions said: "The figures show what an impact the discovery of King Richard III and the subsequent interpretation activity with Leicester Cathedral, the King Richard III Visitor Centre and Bosworth Battlefield have had on the local visitor economy."

Bradgate Park was named the most popular attraction in Leicestershire welcoming 467,000 visitors to its 850 acres of ancient forests, streams and open spaces.

Academics, professional archaeologists and students from the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History are working together to uncover the hidden history of this popular attraction over a five-year programme of research (2015-2019).

The second most popular attraction was The National Space Centre, which the University played an instrumental role in developing. Our researchers, who have a long and distinguished record of discovery in space science, continue to regularly contribute their expertise to the Centre, its governance, and the shape of the educational initiatives.

Last week the University awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science upon British ESA astronaut Tim Peake during his visit to the Centre.