Great North Museum: Hancock wins Best Medium Museum at the Family Friendly Museum Awards 2019

14 October 2019

"To say we are over the moon is an understatement!"

A father and toddler daughter enjoy a craft activity at the Great North MuseumImage: Family visitors to the Great North Museum: Hancock

Newcastle University’s Great North Museum: Hancock has won the Medium Museum category at the Family Friendly Museum Awards 2019.

The art dealer, broadcaster and Kids in Museums patron Philip Mould OBE announced the prestigious accolade during Monday’s ceremony at the May Fair Hotel, London.

The other two winners were the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in the Small Museum category and the Museum of Liverpool in the Large Museum category. Dunfermline’s Carnegie Museum was awarded the Best Overall prize.

Charity Kids in Museums created the annual awards to recognise museums, galleries, historic homes and heritage sites in the UK that go the extra mile to provide a great experience for families. It is the only museum award judged by families.

In the spring, families across the country voted for their favourite heritage attraction online. A panel of museum experts then whittled down over 800 nominations to a shortlist of 15, split between the three categories.

Undercover family judges visited the Great North Museum: Hancock over the summer and assessed the attraction against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. They decided that it was best museum in the medium category – those museums with up to 500,000 visitors annually.

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

“To say we are over the moon is an understatement! The team love working with and for children and their families, as like them, we believe access to great science and culture offers brilliant life experiences for growing minds.

“We have been working hard on our under 5s programme, creating vibrant and exciting opportunities to ensure our littlest visitors feel at home in the museum – and will continue to visit us in the 22nd century!

“This award is particularly special as it’s voted for by families themselves – we are incredibly grateful for that vote of confidence and look forward to a great year ahead.”

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 won at the Family Friendly Museum Awards. There is a lot of work throughout the region that is encouraging children and young people’s engagement in arts and culture, and this award is testament to the Museum’s leading work in this area.

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

Children enjoy a 'Silent Disco' wearing headphones at the Great North MuseumImage: Children enjoy a silent disco at the Great North Museum: Hancock

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

Alongside permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions – such as the hugely popular 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.

Follow Kids in Museums and the Family Friendly Museum Award on Twitter via @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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