VISITOR numbers to the V&A Dundee museum of design during its first year were more than 300,000 higher than expected.

Figures released as the attraction reaches the anniversary of its opening in September last year have revealed that it welcomed more than 800,000 people through its doors, dwarfing the pre-opening estimate of half a million.

The museum has won multiple awards and was recently featured on the front cover of TIME Magazine as one of the world’s Greatest Places of 2019.

However, it has also drawn criticism for being "boring" and like a “cafeteria" from some architects who have been left underwhelmed by the £80 million building.

Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, V&A Dundee is part of the city’s £1 billion waterfront regeneration and sits on the bank of the Tay.

Opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on September last year, it is the first design museum to be built in the UK outside London. The opening marked more than 10 years of planning and preparation.

The museum is estimated to have had an economic impact of £23 million across Scotland in its first year, supporting 178 full-time equivalent jobs in Dundee and 604 full-time across Scotland.

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “The last 12 months have been remarkable and I can hardly believe all that’s been achieved in that time. As well as welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors and putting on world-class exhibitions championing Scottish and international design, the museum has really become part of the city, and for that I’d like to thank everyone for their support.

“We’re very proud of the contribution we have already made to Dundee and Scotland, and the opportunities we are generating for our nation’s creative talent, such as our current exhibition of work by the brilliant young fashion designer Nicholas Daley. We look forward to welcoming many more visitors to our upcoming major exhibitions Hello, Robot and Mary Quant.”

Around one in three visitors to the museum, which won The Herald's Scottish Culture Awards 2019 for an Outstanding Attraction this year, came from the surrounding area while 41 per cent were from the rest of Scotland. Almost half of the people coming to the museum said it was the sole reason they were visiting the city.

However, last week Lorn Macneal, a conservation architect, was one of those questioning some of V&A Dundee’s features. He said: "The inside of the V&A Dundee disappointed me. In many museums you enter, such as the Kelvingrove, you immediately see the exhibits, which create a sense of invitation to see and learn more. It has failed in my mind in its principle areas. It is a tourism hub, a cafeteria and a shop.”

Tim Allan, chair of the board of V&A Dundee, said: “V&A Dundee has already proven itself to be a major new international attraction, bringing tourists from around the world to Dundee to spend time and money, supporting local businesses. In turn, this is already encouraging new investment and job creation.

“The 30-year waterfront vision outlined in 2001 is clearly ahead of target and I look forward to seeing many more companies investing in Dundee in the next decade.”

Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: “V&A Dundee has helped to boost the international profile of our city, encouraging people to visit this amazing new museum and our other well-established attractions.

“The city’s partners have a long-term vision to create local jobs and opportunities through investment in top-class facilities like V&A Dundee and the latest economic impact figures show this is already paying off, with record-breaking tourism numbers recorded in 2018.

“I am delighted to help our design museum celebrate its first birthday as we look toward to what can be achieved in the years to come.”