Now celebrating its 15th year, the annual Awards, organised by the sector’s largest event, The Museums + Heritage Show, recognise the innovators and leaders of the UK and international museums, galleries and visitor attractions.

A total of 11 awards were up for grabs with plenty of excitement on social media leading up to the event epitomised by Cresswell Crags Museum, which were shortlisted for the Marketing Award for their Christmas 2016 campaign, which involved their cheeky looking “cave elf” Craggy Elf appearing on promotional material all for a budget of £40.

Bernard Donoghue, M+H Awards judge and Director of Alva set the tone for the evening with and introductory speech on behalf of the judges by saying how inspirational all the shortlistees were and that true to the Craggy Elf campaign “creativity doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.”

Among the night’s big winners were National Museums Scotland who picked up the Permanent Exhibition award for their ten new galleries and the National Trust, which was the recipient of the Special Recognition award bestowed by the judges on individuals or groups for exemplary contributions.

Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust who picked up the award said: “The fact that we as an organisation are able to reach out and touch so many people is because of all of you [our members] and what you do on a day to day basis. We are enormously lucky for that support and to be able to spend more than we ever have been able to on conservation and those kind of experiences, that move, teach and inspire.”

Here are the awards winners, highly recommended and shortlistees as they were announced on the evening:

INNOVATION AWARD sponsored by The Hub

WINNER

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

 

RESTORATION OR CONSERVATION sponsored by Each Art Unique

WINNER

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

SHORTLISTED

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

 

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

 

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD

National Trust

 

PROJECT ON A LIMITED BUDGET supported by ACE

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

 

INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR in partnership with AIM sponsored by BDRC

JOINT WINNER

Bailiffgate Museum, Mrs Jane Mann

JOINT WINNER

Museum of Oxford, Oxford City Council, Aaron Lee

SHORTLISTED

Sulgrave Manor Trust, William and Sue Rogers

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Jean Liddy

 

VOLUNTEER TEAM OF THE YEAR in partnership with AIM sponsored by BDRC

WINNER

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 

 

MARKETING CAMPAIGN sponsored by Volunteer Makers

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 Dee

SHORTLISTED
Durham Cathedral
, Durham Cathedral in Lego

Mary Rose Trust, Mary Rose Revealed

Creswell Heritage Trust, Craggy Elf

The Courtauld Gallery, Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings

 

TEMPORARY OR TOURING EXHIBITION sponsored by Displayways

WINNER

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

SHORTLISTED
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 sponsored by Securitas

WINNER

Helsinki City Museum, The New Helsinki City Museum

JOINT HIGHLY COMMENDED

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

JOINT HIGHLY COMMENDED

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

SHORTLISTED
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

 

PERMANENT EXHIBITION sponsored by Martello Media

WINNER

National Museums Scotland, Ten New Galleries at the National Museum of Scotland

JOINT HIGHLY COMMENDED

Mary Rose Trust, Mary Rose Revealed

@MaryRoseMuseum

JOINT HIGHLY COMMENDED

IWM (Imperial War Museum), American Air Museum, IWM Duxford

@I_W_M

 SHORTLISTED
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

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