Having displayed excellence in one of 15 categories, 77 organisations from across the museums and heritage sectors have been shortlisted for recognition at the 2020 M+H Awards – sponsored by Chargeurs.

Shortlistees now have an anxious wait until the Awards ceremony on 22nd September, where they will discover if they have scooped the ultimate prize. This year, for the first time ever, the traditional glitzy London event will be replaced with an online version so that all nominees can be part of the festivities in a safe manner.

Given the tough few months endured by the entire sector, Anna Preedy, director of the Museums + Heritage Awards, hopes this year’s event can serve as a much-needed ray of optimism. “Each year the announcement of our shortlist is a real boon for the sector and so this year, more than ever before, I am looking forward to sharing this good news,” she states.

Preedy adds that the Awards will continue in their mission of “shining a spotlight on all of the hard work, creativity and determination that has always been so evident in our museums and heritage visitor attractions,” regardless of the circumstances.

The 2020 shortlist

Volunteer of the Year
In partnership with the Association of Independent Museums

  • Vera Pudilova National Trust
  • Miriam Museum of Oxford
  • Lin Wylie Thame Museum
  • Nick Thompson The Lightbox
  • Joseph Stuart Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Volunteer Team of the Year
In partnership with the Association of Independent Museums

  • Worsbrough Mill Youth Action Volunteers
    Barnsley Museums
  • Bridging Binaries Volunteers
    University of Cambridge Museums
  • Martin and Anne Buck
    National Trust
  • The Pickling Project Volunteers
    St Albans Museums
  • Volunteer Youth Explainers
    The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Stonehenge Neolithic Carpentry Team
    The English Heritage Trust

*NEW* Sustainable Project of the Year
In partnership with National Lottery Heritage Fund

  • The National Trust
    Ty Mawr Museum Climate Adaptation/Mitigation project
  • Imperial War Museums
    Collections storage building at Duxford
  • Museum of Oxford
    Queering Spires: a history of LGBTIQA+ spaces in Oxford
  • Free Practise Ltd on behalf of The British Museum
    Disposable? Rubbish and us
  • Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
    Dinosaurs and activism? Yes please!
  • Natural History Museum
    Ornithological building at Tring

Temporary or Touring Exhibition of the Year
Sponsored by Displayways

  • Royal Collection Trust
    Leonardo da Vinci: Life in Drawings
  • Royal College of Nursing
    The Wandering Womb: Women’s Health Nursing Past and Present
  • London Transport Museum
    Hidden London Exhibition
  • Tate, Artangel and A New Direction
    Steve McQueen Year 3
  • Ceredigion Museum
  • Jewish Museum London
    Jews, Money, Myth

Shop of the Year – turnover more than £500k

  • The National Trust for Scotland
    Transforming Retail at Culloden Battlefield
  • MoMA, NYC
    Flagship Store
  • Science Museum Group
    Science Museum Main Shop
  • Bletchley Park Trust
    Gift Shop

Shop of the Year – turnover less than £500k

  • Old Royal Naval College
    The Painted Hall Shop
  • National Museums Liverpool
    Double Fantasy – John & Yoko shop at Museum of Liverpool
  • Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret
    The OOT Shop
  • The Charleston Trust
    Created for Charleston

Restoration/Conservation Project

  • Didcot Railway Centre
    2999 “Lady of Legend” – Recreating a GWR “Saint” Class Loco
  • Palace of Westminster, Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Perry Lithgow Partnership and Opus Conservation
    Conservation of two waterglass wall paintings by Daniel Maclie’s in the Royal Gallery
  • Plymouth City Council (The Box) and Orbis Conservation
    The Box Naval Figureheads Collection
  • Aberdeen City Council Museums and Galleries
    Aberdeen Art Gallery – Inspiring Art and Music
  • Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust
    The Fitted Rigging House

Permanent Exhibition of the Year

  • Birmingham Museum Trust
    Mini Brum
  • The Science Museum Group
    Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries
  • Wellcome Collection
    Being Human
  • English Heritage
    Tintagel Castle Bridge & Landscape Project
  • Aberdeen City Council Museums and Galleries
    Aberdeen Art Gallery – Inspiring Art and Music

Partnership of the Year

  • Royal Collections Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and The University of Birmingham
    The Paper Museum: the Curious eye of Cassiano dal Pozzo
  • Lichfield Cathedral
    Journeys Through Space Light & Time
  • York Art Gallery and Kaiser Chiefs
    When All is Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs in Conversation with York Art Gallery
  • Oxford University Gardens, Libraries & Museums (GLAM)
    GLAM and Iffley Academy Partnership
  • National Galleries Scotland and North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership
    Beings & Thinking Different/Doing Better

Marketing + Communications Strategy of the Year

  • Castle Howard
    Skelf Island – The Launch of a New Adventure Playground
  • Historic Royal Palaces: The Tower of London
    Tower Escape
  • The Bronte Society & Bronte Parsonage Museum
    Charlotte’s ‘Little Book’ Campaign
  • Imperial War Museum North
    Yemen: Inside a Crisis
  • Tate Liverpool
    Keith Haring

Limited Budget Project of the Year

  • Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery
    100 Years of Fashion
  • Horniman Museum and Gardens
    Beat Plastic Pollution
  • Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
    Extinction Voices
  • The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
    Pop-up Egyptians Coffins Project
  • The Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL Culture, UCL
    Displays of Power: A Natural History of Empire

Learning Programme of the Year

  • The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
    NLHF funded – FFWHR Heritage Skills Training Programme
  • South East Museum Development Programme
    SEND in Museums partnership project
  • Leeds Museums and Galleries
    Careers for All: meaningful work experience for young people with additional needs
  • The Alnwick Garden
    Drugs Prevention Education
  • Nottingham Contemporary
  • National Justice Museum
    Choices and Consequences

The International Project of the Year > £1m

  • Municipality of Leiden, Museum De Lakenhal, HappelCornelisseVerhoeven, Julian Harrap Architects
  • OMM – Odunpazarı Modern Museum
  • Barker Langham on behalf of The National Museum of Qatar
    National Museum of Qatar
  • Museum of Literature Ireland
  • Liget Budapest Project
    Reconstruction of the Olof Palme House

The International Project of the Year < £1m

  • The National Archives of the Netherlands
    Who Am I, Who Were You?
  • Science Museum Group
    Superbugs Touring Exhibition
  • The Partition Museum, Amritsar and Manchester Museum
    Jallianwala Bagh 1919: Punjab Under Siege
  • Studio Louter, OPERA Amsterdam and The Mauritshuis
    Shifting Image – In Search of Johan Maurits
  • #ArtUnited_be
    Art United at Pukkelpop Pop & Rock Festival

Innovation of the Year

  • Blast Theory
  • English Heritage
    Rembrandt #nofilter
  • Imperial War Museums
    Field Music’s Making a New World
  • Harewood House Trust
    A Night at the Mansion
  • Sound View Media & Heritage Ability in association with Geevor Tin Mine
    Geevor Mine Interactive Accessible VR Tour

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed the presence of a new category in this year’s line-up, in the form of the new Sustainable Project of the Year, established in partnership with National Lottery Heritage Fund.

“As a first-time sponsor of these awards, we were delighted to see the enthusiasm of applicants to share their successes and learning for others to follow,” noted Drew Bennellick, head of land and nature policy at National Lottery Heritage Fund.

“The twin climate and ecological emergencies are prompting more organisations to rethink how they go about their daily business. So the more good practice and inspirational ideas that can be shared, then the greater the chance that we can reach that critical goal of net zero in the UK by 2050.”

The 2020 shortlist was agonised over by a judging panel consisting of: Diane Lees, director general of Imperial War Museums; Matthew Tanner, chief executive of the SS Great Britain Trust; Maggie Appleton, chief executive of the Royal Air Force Museum; Sam Mullins, director of London Transport Museum; and Caro Howell, director of the Foundling Museum.

This list had originally also included Bernard Donoghue, director of ALVA, and Stephen Duncan, commercial and tourism director at Historic Scotland, but the spike in their workloads due to the Covid-19 crisis meant both were unable to participate in this year’s deliberations.

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