In a year which saw the highest ever number of contenders competing for Suffolk’s Museum of the Year Awards, a wide cross-section of organisations are now celebrating their achievements.
The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art at Palace House in Newmarket took the overall title of Suffolk Museum of the Year and Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds won the 2017 Family Friendly Award.
Other winners were the East Anglia Transport Museum in Carlton Colville (Museum of the Year Merit Award), West Stow Anglo Saxon Village (Learning and Access Award), the Red House at Aldeburgh (Family Friendly Merit Award) and Halesworth Museum (Object of the Year Award).
Suffolk’s museums, large and small, came together to celebrate at the University of Suffolk at the annual event, which is run by the Association for Suffolk Museums in partnership with the East Anglian Daily Times and supported by BBC Radio Suffolk, Suffolk County Council and the University’s Business School.
A total of 12 museums were shortlisted for the two top Awards. One reason the numbers were up was this year’s Summer in Suffolk Museums initiative which encouraged museums to provide more holiday activities and events for families. The judges said it had been “wonderful to see so many museums providing low-cost and engaging activities for families both inside and outside the museum walls”.
Speaking at the event, Suffolk County Councillor Richard Smith, Cabinet member for Finance and Transformation also highlighted the beneficial impact of Suffolk’s museums, both in terms of growth, through their contribution to inward investment and tourism, and in respect of health and well-being, through volunteering and social activity . He paid tribute to the relatively small group of professional staff and over 1,600 volunteers who deliver all of this.
Seen (below) receiving their Awards from Archant Group Features Editor Liz Nice are Chris Garibaldi and Hazel Courley from Newmarket’s National Heritage Centre (left-hand picture) and Lance Alexander and Dan Clarke from Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds.