The Museums + Heritage Awards are open for entries and over the coming months will be welcoming applications from hundreds of museums and heritage attractions across the UK and internationally. Once the February deadline has passed the entries will be whittled down to a shortlist by an esteemed panel of judges made up of seven sector leading lights including chair, Diane Lees, director general IWM and new to the panel, Caro Howell who is director of the Foundling Museum. They will looking for evidence of ‘outcome, creativity, relation to objective and cost effectiveness’.

With 14 categories, the awards generate very public recognition for the winners and shortlistees and have been instrumental in helping many to secure funding and support from key stakeholders. Award winners have also enjoyed recognition both locally and further afield as the awards increasingly gain an international profile.

“Working in this sector can be challenging but these awards provide an unrivalled opportunity to have all of that hard work endorsed by the sector’s most senior and influential players,” said Museums + Heritage director Anna Preedy. “Now in their 17th year, the Museums + Heritage Awards attract attention across the world offering organisations, no matter what their size or scope of budget, an opportunity to enter, and to win. This year we are adding to the existing categories with the introduction of a new Partnership of the Year Award and hope to see a wide range of entries which reflect the creativity of this sector and the positive impact innovative partnerships can have. I am looking forward to being inspired by so many incredible projects – it is a privilege to be Director of the Museums + Heritage Awards.”

The new Partnership of the Year award supported by Arts Council England will be given to the most innovative and impactful partnership project or programme. The project or programme will need to involve at least one museum, collection or heritage site, and one or more additional partners (which may be non-museum or heritage organisations). Judges will look for partnerships that have achieved something which individual organisations could not have done on their own, demonstrates creativity and has had a significant impact on people, collections or a place. Projects and programmes should focus on an innovative use of a site, engaging audiences that might not otherwise experience the museum, use or management of a collection, and/or utilisation of digital technologies.

The International Award has also been separated into two categories – International Award of the Year – projects under £1m and International Award of the Year – projects over £1m.

The winners of the M+ H Awards will be announced at a ceremony at the historic staterooms of 8 Northumberland Avenue on 15 May, hosted by Reverend Richard Coles in front of more than 300 industry professionals.

To help with your entry the M+H team has compiled FAQs along with a step by step video of how to fill out the entry form.

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