While last year’s Awards ceremony was like no other – becoming the first ever to take place online – plans for the 2021 edition, which will be sponsored by Chargeurs Creative Collection, have undergone wholesale changes as the period of eligibility for entering has been dominated by the pandemic.

Applications can be submitted from 1st February and will remain open until 31st March, with new categories introduced this year including the COVID Special Recognition Award and a two-pronged Pandemic Pivot Award for organisations large and small.

Entry fees have been removed entirely across seven categories as organisers want to ensure nobody shies away from sharing the stories of how they reacted to coronavirus chaos, with eligibility criteria also fine-tuned throughout to optimise each category for these uncharted times.

Awards special recognition – Jan 2021- Mid article banner

2021 Awards categories

COVID Special Recognition Award

Eligibility dates: 23 March 2020 to 31 March 2021
Entry fee: free to enter

COVID Best Supplier Award

Eligibility dates: 23 March 2020 to 31 March 2021
Entry fee: free to enter

Volunteer(s) of the Year in partnership with Association of Independent Museums

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: free to enter

The Pandemic Pivot Award >20 Paid FTE Employees

Eligibility dates: 23 March 2020 to 31 March 2021
Entry fee: free to enter

The Pandemic Pivot Award <20 Paid FTE Employees

Eligibility dates: 23 March 2020 to 31 March 2021
Entry fee: free to enter

Fundraising Award

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: free to enter

Sustainable Project of the Year sponsored by National Lottery Heritage Fund

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: free to enter

Community Impact Award

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

Learning Outreach Award

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

Best Use of Digital – UK

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

Best Use of Digital – International

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

Best Use of Social Media

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

Partnership of the Year Award

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

Exhibition of the Year – UK

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

International Exhibition of the Year – International

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

Shop of the Year

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

Restoration or Conservation Project of the Year

Eligibility dates: 1 January to 31 December 2020
Entry fee: £90 + VAT

Sweeping alterations to the tried and trusted formula have been made to provide individuals and organisations the “opportunity to be recognised for bold, creative moves made during exceptionally challenging times”, says Anna Preedy, director of the Museums + Heritage Awards.

The entire 2021 application process has moved online for the first time, recognising that time is at a premium like never before. Twinned with the lowering or removal of entry fees, Preedy hopes this will “make our Awards the most accessible they have ever been”.

A highly successful addition to the 2020 line-up which will return this year is the Sustainable Project of the Year category, established in partnership with National Lottery Heritage Fund. Last year’s inaugural prize was won by Museum of Oxford for Queering Spires: a history of LGBTIQA+ spaces in Oxford.

Museums + Heritage Awards

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

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