The Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence are now in their 13th year and offer all cultural organisations, regardless of size, the opportunity to be recognised and celebrated for the quality of their work. There are a total of 12 categories for 2016, including the new Volunteer of the Year Award and the inaugural Fundraisers of the Year Award.

With many heritage organisations continually relying on volunteers, both young and old, to provide essential assistance from the day-to-day running of an organisation to hands on support for special projects, the Museums + Heritage Awards team, along with AIM – which represents 1,200 independent museums and more than 100,000 volunteers – is launching the new award in recognition of their efforts.

The entry process and deadline for the Volunteer of the Year Award is different to other Museums + Heritage Award categories and requires a simple email with the nomination details, which can be found here. Museums and heritage attractions can nominate an individual or an entire team by briefly explaining the difference they have made to a specific museum, gallery or heritage attraction, The deadline for nominations for this award is 29 February 2016.

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The Association of Independent Museums is partnering this award on behalf of all its members and the wider community of heritage organisations out there who are supported by an incredible number of volunteers every year. Many of these organisations could not exist without the dedication and commitment of these individuals and they deserve to be recognised and celebrated

Tamalie Newbery, Executive Director, AIM

The Museum + Heritage Awards for Excellence 2016 are also now open for entries for projects completed between January and December 2015. The awards continue to generate 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.

Last year’s winners included Historic Royal Palaces in conjunction with Paul Cummins Ceramics as Best Temporary or Touring Exhibition for The Tower Remembers: A First World War Commemoration and Renfrewshire Council winner of the Restoration and Conservation for The Grand Fountain Restoration, Paisley. The winner of the International Award was Tinker Imagineers of the Netherlands for DOMunder, a new visitor attraction that recreates 2,000 years of history beneath Domplein square Utrecht, which beat off competition from afar afield as the Falkland Islands.

Awards director Anna Preedy said the awards matter as they are a direct endorsement by senior industry colleagues whose opinions really count. “Cost-effectiveness is at the heart of these awards as is creativity and resourcefulness and entries are welcome from everyone,” said Preedy. “So, if you work in a local authority museum, a national or independent museum, a gallery or a heritage or cultural visitor attraction or perhaps you are a supplier to this sector, this is your chance to have your hard work recognised. Good luck to everyone!”

The deadline for entries is 1 February 2016 and hundreds of submissions are expected from museum and heritage attractions across the UK and overseas battling it out for one of these prestigious Awards.

Once the deadline has passed, entries will be whittled down to a shortlist by the esteemed panel of judges made up of seven sector leading lights who will consider every entry and look for evidence of ‘outcome, creativity, relation to objective and cost effectiveness’.

As well as the new Volunteer of the Year Award, this year’s awards also have a new Fundraisers of The Year Award, which brings the total categories to 12, with the other 10 listed below:

Permanent Exhibition sponsored by Martello Media
Temporary or Touring Exhibition
Educational Initiative
Project on a Limited Budget
Customer Service sponsored by BDRC Continental
Marketing Campaign sponsored by Volunteer Makers
Trading & Enterprise
International Award
Restoration or Conservation

The award winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the historic staterooms of 8 Northumberland Avenue on 18 May 2016, where more than 300 industry professionals will converge in the heart of London to find out who has triumphed.

To enter the awards download the submission criteria and entry form from the Museums + Heritage website.

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Entry information

Deadline for the Volunteer of the Year Award is 29 February 2016 and entry details can be found on the Museums + Heritage website

Hall of Fame, entry Information and entry form for all other categories can be found here. Deadline for entries for these categories is Monday 1 February 2016

Winner’s ceremony is Wednesday 18 May 2016, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London



Main Image 

Sam Mullins, M+H Awards judge and director of London Transport Museum, at the 2015 awards ceremony