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Britain's best recognised at Museums + Heritage Awards

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The winners of this year’s Museums + heritage Awards for Excellence have been announced, with shortlisted projects celebrated and recognised across the museums, galleries, heritage and cultural visitor attractions sectors in the UK.

The Novium museum in Chichester picked up the award in the Temporary or Touring Exhibition category, with judges describing Tim Peake: An Extraordinary Journey as “an inspiring and amazingly good value project which seized a great opportunity to celebrate a local hero, inspiring future generations for years to come.”

Launched in his home city, the free exhibition debuted on 15 December and charts the astrological adventure of astronaut Tim Peake, taking visitors on his journey from growing up in Chichester, to becoming the first British European Space Agency astronaut.

The Permanent Exhibition Award went to National Museums Scotland, which completed its £80m (US$104m, €93.8m) masterplan in July with the launch of 10 new galleries.

Increasing available space by 40 per cent, with more than 75 per cent of objects on display having not been seen “for at least a generation”, the new spaces feature more than 3,000 new objects, which have been installed into four galleries covering art, fashion and design. A further six looking at science and technology.

“They set their ambitions high,” said the judging panel commenting on the win. “They exceeded their fundraising targets and have succeeded in becoming the place to go, engaging with new audiences as well as working brilliantly as a local community museum.”

The award for Innovation went to Historic Royal PalacesThe Lost Palace – an interactive adventure taking visitors on a tour of Whitehall Palace in London.

Utilising state-of-the-art digital storytelling, visitors experience and reimagine the lost history of what was once Europe’s largest palace, using haptic technology and 3D binaural sound to lead visitors on a augmented journey through British history.

The reimagined Helsinki City Museum in Finland, which reopened to the public last year following an €11m (US$12.2m, £9.4m) refurbishment and expansion of its new premises, was recognised as winner of the International Award.

Moving from its former home in Helsinki’s historical district to a new location in Senate Square, the 105-year-old museum now occupies five historical buildings surrounding three inner courtyards, opening up spaces never previously accessible to the public.

Commenting on the win, Museum + Heritage judges called the project “an impressive community-focused museum which has created appealing spaces that people want to be in.”

Museums + Heritage Awards 2017 winners

Judges Special Recognition Award


National Trust

Project on a Limited Budget

Winner: Hallaton in the Great War Research Group, Hallaton in the Great War - Tales of the Unexpected

Highly Commended:

- Ridgewell Airfield Commemorative Association, Ridgewell Airfield Commemorative Association Museum

Shortlisted:- Kettering Museum and Art Gallery, Collections Connections

- Clumber Park, National Trust, Lost Treasures, The Imagined Mansion- University of Oxford Gardens, Libraries and Museums group and Bate Collection, Out in Oxford

Restoration or Conservation


The Fitzwilliam Museum and the Hamilton Kerr Institute, Restoration of Sebastiano's Adoration of the Shepherds

Highly Commended:- National Museums Liverpool, Lady Lever Art Gallery South End Galleries Development


- The Natural History Museum, The Blue Whale Project- Museum of London, Restoration of 17th century fire engine

- Royal Museum's Greenwich, Conservation of the King's Presence Chamber ceiling- Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Command of the Oceans

Temporary or Touring Exhibition


The Novium, Chichester District Council, Tim Peake: An Extraordinary Journey

Highly Commended:- Leicester City Arts & Museums Service (Leicester City Council), Fearless Foxes': Leicester City FC and the Impossible Dream


- Royal Museum's Greenwich, Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution- Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove, Fashion Cities Africa

- National Memorial Arboretum, Somme En Masse: Mass Installation

The International Award

Winner:- Helsinki City Museum, The New Helsinki City Museum

Highly Commended:

- An Post - The Irish Postal Service, GPO Witness History Visitor Centre

Shortlisted:- Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp, Have You Met Plantin Yet?

- Casson Mann on behalf of La Cite du Vin - City of Bordeaux, La Cite du Vin Permanent Exhibition, Bordeaux, France- Maritime Museum Rotterdam and Kossmann.dejong, Offshore Experience - the search for energy

- Tinker imagineers on behalf of the Fort Pannerden Foundation, Experience Fortress Pannerden

Volunteer of the Year Award – Individual

Winner:Joint Winners Bailiffgate Museum, Mrs Jane Mann and - Museum of Oxford, Oxford City Council, Aaron Lee


- Sulgrave Manor Trust, William and Sue Rogers- Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Jean Liddy

Volunteers of the Year Award – Team


- People's History Museum, Community Curators of Never Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights

Highly Commended:- The Musical Museum at Kew Bridge, The Volunteer Team at The Musical Museum

Shortlisted- Friends of Windmill Gardens, Friends of Windmill Gardens

- Egypt Centre Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Egypt Centre Volunteers- Bristol Aero Collection Trust - Aerospace Bristol, Bristol Aero Collection Trust (volunteer group)

- National Museums Scotland, Young Demonstrators

Permanent Exhibition

Winner:- National Museums Scotland, Ten New Galleries at the National Museum of Scotland

Highly Commended:

- Mary Rose Trust, Mary Rose Revealed- IWM (Imperial War Museum), American Air Museum, IWM Duxford


- National Trust - Croome, The Return of the Croome Collection- The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare's New Place

- National Museums Liverpool, Lady Lever Art Gallery South End Galleries Development

Marketing Campaign

Winner:- 14-18 NOW, Jeremy Deller, Rufus Norris, National Theatre & Birmingham Rep, We're here because we're here'

Highly Commended:

- Royal College of Physicians, Scholar, Courtier, Magician: The Lost Library of John DeeShortlisted

- Durham Cathedral, Durham Cathedral in Lego- Mary Rose Trust, Mary Rose Revealed

- Creswell Heritage Trust, Craggy Elf- The Courtauld Gallery, Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings



- Historic Royal Palaces, The Lost Palace

Highly Commended:- The National Holocaust Centre and Museum and designers Bright White Ltd, The Forever Project

Shortlisted:- Mary Rose Trust, Mary Rose Revealed

- Sennheiser on behalf of the V&A, Delivering new dimensions of sound for Records and Rebels 1966-1970- Hannah Bruce Company on behalf of Hoxton Hall, The Hoxton Hall Experience: A Collection of Small Choices

- Llechwedd Deep Mine at The Slate Caverns, The Deep Mine Tour at Llechwedd Slate Caverns

Educational Initiative

Winner:- National Trust - Croome, Potter & Ponder: Sensory Experiences

Highly Commended:

Heritage Learning, The Hull Curriculum

Shortlisted:- Horniman Museum and Gardens, Transforming our service for SEND Schools

- Bristol culture Team, ESOL at Bristol Museums- National Museums Scotland, Science Engagement at the National Museum of Scotland

- King's College London and Partners, My Primary School is at the Museum

For more on this year’s nominees and winners at the Museums + Heritage Awards, check out the latest issue of Attractions Management magazine, available now.

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The winners of this year’s Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence have been announced, with shortlisted projects celebrated and recognised across the museums, galleries, heritage and cultural visitor attractions sectors in the UK.

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