Great North Museum: Hancock shortlisted for national Family Friendly Museum Award

18 June 2019

"The museum really stood out for its excellent offer for under 5s, as well as its good accessibility."

A mother and toddler look at a swan exhibit in the Great North Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle University’s Great North Museum: Hancock has been shortlisted for the prestigious Family Friendly Museum Award.

Charity Kids in Museums awards the prize annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site in the UK that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families. It is the only museum award judged by families.

Throughout April and May, families across the country voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of museum experts then whittled down over 800 nominations to a shortlist.

The Great North Museum: Hancock is vying against five other museums in the Medium Museums Category and against 14 other museums for the overall Family Friendly Museum Award.

Caroline McDonald, Manager at the Great North Museum: Hancock, said:

“We are very excited to have been nominated for this award for a second time within two years and are grateful to all of the families who visit us and have made this nomination possible.

“We remain committed to continually innovating our programmes and providing great cultural experiences for local communities and we are delighted that this is being recognised.”

Professor Vee Pollock, Dean of Culture and the Creative Arts at Newcastle University, said:

“Newcastle University is very proud that the Great North Museum: Hancock has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. There is a lot of work throughout the region which is encouraging children and young people’s engagement in arts and culture, and that the Museum features again on the shortlist is testament to their leading work in this area.

“The team do a fantastic job of bringing our world-leading research to audiences of all ages.”

The Great North Museum opened in 2009 following a £26 million redevelopment of the former Hancock Museum. It is now established as a major North East visitor attraction with a particularly strong family offer.

Alongside permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions – such as Dippy on Tour – the museum hosts special events for babies and toddlers throughout the year. The museum also regularly hosts relaxed early openings for visitors with autistic spectrum conditions and their families.

Emmajane Avery, Chair of Kids in Museums, said:

“It’s great to see the Great North Museum: Hancock on the shortlist for this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award. To make it to the shortlist in our most competitive year yet is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work staff have put in to create an enjoyable experience for families.

“The museum really stood out for its excellent offer for under 5s, as well as its good accessibility. We wish the museum the best of luck in the next round of judging.”

The museum will now be visited by undercover family judges who will assess against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner, the Family Friendly Museum of the Year 2019. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in October.

Follow the Family Friendly Museum Award on Twitter by following @kidsinmuseums and #FamilyFriendlyMuseum.

The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England and is kindly supported by Edwardian Hotels London.

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