The winners and runners-up in each of the 11 hard-fought categories were announced by comedienne Sue Perkins at the Historic State Rooms of 8 Northumberland in central London. Introducing the awards, Museums + Heritage Show Director, Anna Preedy, said “With so many projects of such remarkable quality, innovation and creativity I am delighted that these awards continue to shine a spotlight on the important and exceptional contribution that this sector makes to our economy and cultural wellbeing.”
Among the night’s big winners was London’s Victoria and Albert Museum which walked away with the 2014 ‘Best of the Best’ accolade.
Other winners included: Rayleigh Windmill in Rochford in the Customer Service category and Portsmouth’s New Mary Rose Museum which fought-off strong competition to win the much-coveted Permanent Exhibition Award as well as the accolade in the Restoration/Conservation category.
The winner of the International Award was National Archives in the Netherlands for their Memory Palace exhibition while the Haslemere Educational Museum was victorious in the Project on a Limited Budget category. Other winners included London’s Victoria & Albert Museum – a double winner in the Innovation category and Temporary/Touring category; National Museums Liverpool in the Educational category while London’s Horniman Museum and Gardens were named as winners in the Marketing category for their Walrus on the Move campaign.
The final accolade was awarded to the UK institution that best demonstrated a ground-breaking approach to audience engagement over the past 12 months. It was chosen by members of the Guardian Cultural Professionals Network and awarded to Powell-Cotton Museum in Kent.
Bernard Donoghue, Director, ALVA and a member of the judging panel, said: “These awards recognise the amazing achievements, creativity, innovation, hard work and utter commitment evident throughout the museums and heritage sector. The number of applications, of really impressive quality, grows year after year as the awards have become the benchmark for excellence. If you are shortlisted, let alone win one of these awards, you know you are among the best of the best”.
The winners and highly commended entries (listed below) are a reflection of the industry’s growing diversity. Each museum, cultural and heritage visitor attraction is recognised for its excellence – whether for an innovative and groundbreaking exhibition or for making a considerable achievement on the smallest of budgets.
The Awards are judged by a panel of sector experts including: Dr Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums; Bernard Donoghue, Director, Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), Diane Lees, Director General, Imperial War Museums; Matthew Tanner, Chief Executive of ss Great Britain and Sam Mullins, Director of the London Transport Museum.
2014 WINNERS & HIGHLY COMMENDED
CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD
Sponsored by BDRC Continental
- Rochford District Council, Rayleigh Windmill – WINNER
- Edinburgh Museums & Galleries, Writers’ Museum Volunteers – HIGHLY COMMENDED
Sponsored by Martello Media
- National Archives, The Netherlands, Het Geheugenpaleis, The Memory Palace – with your head in the archives – WINNER
- Kiss the Frog on behalf of Gemeentemuseum, The Netherlands, Wonderkamers – HIGHLY COMMENDED
PROJECT ON A LIMITED BUDGET
Sponsored by Sweett
- Haslemere Educational Museum, The 125th Anniversary Campaign – WINNER
- Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL, The Micrarium – HIGHLY COMMENDED
RESTORATION OR CONSERVATION
Sponsored by FWA Group
- Mary Rose Trust, The Mary Rose Museum – WINNER
- Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Once in a Whale – HIGHLY COMMENDED
THE WINSTAN BOND TROPHY FOR TRADING + ENTERPRISE
Supported by Association of Independent Museums
- Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, Developing the Gift Shop and Cafe – WINNER
- Glasgow Life, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Jack Vettriano: a Retrospective – HIGHLY COMMENDED
- Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A Digital Explorer Map – WINNER
- Design Museum, The Future is Here: A New Industrial Revolution – HIGHLY COMMENDED
- Horniman Museum and Gardens, Walrus on the Move – WINNER
- Tricolor Ltd and The Royal Artillery Museum, Keeping it Social, Firepower – HIGHLY COMMENDED
- The Mary Rose Trust, The New Mary Rose Museum – WINNER
- Bath Preservation Trust, No 1 Royal Crescent – The Whole Story – HIGHLY COMMENDED
- Barnsley MBC Arts, Museums & Archives, Experience Barnsley Museum & Discovery Centre – HIGHLY COMMENDED
- National Museums Liverpool, House of Memories – Northern Model – WINNER
- ss Great Britain Trust, The Future Brunels Programme – HIGHLY COMMENDED
TEMPORARY OR TOURING EXHIBITION
- Victoria and Albert Museum, David Bowie is – WINNER
- Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Caught in the Crossfire: Artistic Responses to Conflict, Peace and Reconciliation – HIGHLY COMMENDED
CULTURE PROS PICK
In partnership with The Guardian Culture Professionals Network
- Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex House and Gardens, Kent – WINNER
BEST OF THE BEST
- Victoria and Albert Museum