A photograph of the entrance to the NGV

Australia’s most popular gallery – and now one of the world’s most visited – is set to continue its success thanks to a funding boost in the Victorian Budget 2017/18.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley today announced that the Andrews Labor Government will invest $28.7 million over two years to support the NGV to build on its incredible growth of recent years.

Five years ago, NGV hosted 28 exhibitions per year – in 2016 that number rose to 49. This growth has encouraged more visits than ever, rising from just over two million visitors in 2014 to 2.4 million in 2015 and a high of 2.6 million last year.

The Labor Government’s funding will support the gallery to strengthen its permanent exhibitions and undertake ongoing maintenance, including managing its collection of more than 70,000 artworks.

The funding will also support the gallery to continue its hugely successful NGV Summer program, which over the last four years has attracted more than five million visitors, including record numbers of tourists.

The NGV is now the 19th most visited gallery in the world, alongside the likes of Paris’ Musée d’Orsay and New York’s Museum of Modern Art – as revealed last month by the UK’s The Art Newspaper in its annual survey of global art museum attendance.

The NGV Summer program, which includes major contemporary art and design exhibitions and activities ranging from Friday Nights music series to a popular kids festival, has proved a winning formula that not only brings visitors through NGV’s doors but also provides a significant economic boost for the state.

The Gallery’s latest figures reveal that last year’s record breaking summer exhibition Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei, and the associated summer programs, generated $25.1 million for Victoria.

Coming up for the NGV is the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition Van Gogh and the Seasons, which opens on Friday, The House of Dior an NGV-curated, world premiere in collaboration with Christian Dior Couture opening in August and this year’s summer exhibition, the inaugural NGV Triennial – featuring the work of 60 contemporary artists and designers from over 30 countries.

Next year, the NGV will present another international exclusive, a major exhibition of modern and contemporary masterworks from New York’s iconic Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).