Craven Museum in Skipton, North Yorkshire has been awarded Family Friendly Museum of the Year.
Run by charity Kids in Museums, the national award is awarded annually to one museum, gallery or heritage site in the UK for excelling in its visitor experience for families. The awards begin with public nominations, from which a shortlist is created by an expert panel. Family judges then visit each shortlisted museum over the summer holidays to decide the winner.
Craven Museum was shortlisted in the Best Accessible Museum category, going onto win the category and the overall Family Friendly Museum Award 2023.
Skipton Town Hall, which includes Craven Museum, the Exhibition Gallery, Concert Hall and Visitor Information Centre, reopened in June 2021 following a £4.7m redevelopment.
One family judge said: “This is one of the most accessible, family-friendly and welcoming museums I have visited across Britain. It is very inclusive and their website is a particularly strong point in terms of helping people to feel able and welcome to visit. People can visit the museum or attend an event knowing what to expect and what options are available.”
The award follows previous accolades for the museum, including Best Told Story from Visit England, and it was rated third out of 2,258 UK heritage sites for its online access information in the Heritage Access 22 Report. The building is also a designated North Yorkshire Safe Place and LGBTQIA+ Safe Space.
Alison Bowyer, Executive Director of Kids in Museums, said Craven Museum is “an exemplar for the UK museum sector and shows what can be achieved through the dedication of a small but ambitious team. We hope families from across Yorkshire and beyond will enjoy visiting over the October half term.”
Danielle Daglan, Head of Culture and Archives at North Yorkshire Council added: “This recognition highlights our ongoing efforts to create welcoming spaces where families can discover and connect with our rich cultural heritage. We are deeply committed to providing meaningful experiences for all visitors, and this award serves as a heartening affirmation of our dedication to inclusivity.
It is the second year running that a Yorkshire venue has won the Award with the National Emergency Services Museum in Sheffield taking home the title in 2022.
The winners in the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award 2023:
Winner: Best Accessible Museum + Overall Winner
Craven Museum, Skipton
Winner: Best Small Museum
Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro
Winner: Best Medium Museum
The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury
Winner: Best Large Museum
Museum of Liverpool
Winner: Best Youth Project – Climate