More than 4,300 people viewed the 2020 Awards ceremony – the first ever to be broadcast online – and this successful format will remain in place for 2021.

“If there was a silver lining to 2020 it was our first ever virtual awards ceremony,” notes Anna Preedy, director of the Museums + Heritage Awards.

“Thousands of people from all over the world watched the ceremony online and the response to it was overwhelmingly positive! I am really excited to build on that and to continue to share the stories of our winners in a virtual ceremony again in 2021.”

Winners announced at the first ever virtual Museums + Heritage Awards 2020

In redefining the categories for 2021, Preedy explains that the event’s organisers want to offer the sector an “opportunity to be recognised for bold, creative moves made during exceptionally challenging times”.

The Sustainable Project of the Year category, introduced for 2020 in partnership with National Lottery Heritage Fund, will return next year, alongside a range of other special categories designed to celebrate the unique endeavours undertaken by individuals and organisations during the pandemic.

The application process is where some of the biggest alterations can be found. Reducing or removing entry fees for several categories, combined with a streamlining of the application process – all of which will be completed online for the first time – aims to minimise barriers to entry.

“I am also really delighted to introduce a range of free-to-enter categories and to reduce the fees for others. This, together with moving the entire entry process online will, I hope, make our Awards the most accessible they have ever been,” Preedy adds.

Applications for the 2021 Awards will open on 1st February and close on the 31st March, with the ceremony scheduled to take place on 1st July.

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