Regional Heritage Awards 2019

It was a wonderful night of celebrations on Tuesday 24th September 2019 when 130 guests attended the Biennial Regional Heritage Awards in the magnificent setting of the National Civil War Museum and Palace Theatre in Newark.

The awards are organised and funded by Museum Development East Midlands and recognise excellence and innovation in museums, historic houses and heritage sites across the region.

There were a record number of 83 entries from 48 different organisations at this year’s awards, the competition was fierce and the judging team had some difficult decisions to make.  The breadth and quality of the entries, and the range of organisations that had entered, really demonstrated how much extraordinary and excellent work is taking place in heritage organisations throughout the East Midlands.

The awards were judged by Dr Abi Hunt, Head of Department (Marketing and Tourism) at the University of Lincoln; Chris Keady, Head of Collections, Learning and Participation and Interim Museum Manager at Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust and Katt Hanson, a Masters student on the Museum and Heritage Development course at Nottingham Trent University.  Dr Abi Hunt and Chris Keady took part in the ceremony, sharing their thoughts on the entries and presenting the awards.

Award Winners received a plaque and Highly Commended projects a framed certificate.  The Winners were…

‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’

  • Winner– National Justice Museum for ‘HM Prison Service Collection Digitisation Project’
  • Highly Commended– Creswell Heritage Trust for ‘Instagram Video Series: The Collection’

Best Project on a Shoestring (less than £1,000)

  • Winner – Mansfield Museum for ‘Fitness, Food & Fun’
  • Highly Commended– The Friends of Metheringham Airfield for ‘Creating a Memorial Room fit for heroes at Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre’

The Sky’s the Limit

  • Winner– Buxton Museum and Art Gallery for ‘Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain’
  • Highly Commended– Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery for ‘The Trench Experience’
  • Highly Commended– Markham Vale Heritage Group for ‘Walking Together Markham Vale Mining Memorial Heritage Trail’

Partnership Working

  • Winner– Canalside Heritage Centre for ‘Canalside Visions: Beijing to Beeston and back again’
  • Highly Commended– Crafting Relationships for ‘Local History Café’

Heart of the Community

  • Winner– Erewash Museum for ‘The Beach’ at Erewash Museum
  • Highly Commended– Spiral Projects for ‘March of the Fifty’

Reaching New Audiences

  • Winner– National Justice Museum for ‘Desire, Love, Identity Nottinghamshire LGBTQ book’
  • Highly Commended– Derbyshire Record Office for ‘The Amazing Pop Up Archives Project’
  • Highly Commended– Canalside Heritage Centre for ‘Wellbeing through the Waterways’

Judges’ Special Award

  • Winner– Creswell Crags for ‘taking an enterprising approach to the discovery of the Witch Marks

Judges’ Special Award

  • Winner– Nottingham City Museums and Galleries for ‘excellence in exhibitions

Judges’ Special Award

  • Winner– Feixue Huangdu for ‘using digital technology to initiate a global reach

A further Special Award was presented to Liz Weston MBE, Museum Curator at Mansfield Museum for her ‘Outstanding Contribution to Museums in the East Midlands’.

Museum of the Year

  • Winner– National Justice Museum

Thanks were given to the judges; the National Civil War Centre; Arts Council England for funding Museum Development East Midlands; Mick Fox for photography and DeType for designing the plaques and certificates.

The awards followed the Regional Heritage Conference ‘Being Brave in a New World’ which considered how heritage organisations can adapt to the needs of a changing world by being relevant, robust and remarkable.

Keynote speakers were Ruchi Aggarwal, Director of Business Development at the Lincoln International Business School, University of Lincoln; Cath Hume Director of Arts Marketing Association; Denny Plowman and Tom Huggon from Green’s Mill.

Workshops highlighted a number of regional and national initiatives including Being a 21st Century Visitor Attraction; Running a Local History Café; Engaging Schools, Becoming more Family Friendly; Working in Partnership and Creating Welcoming Environments for People with Autism.



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