Museums in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough came together on earlier this week (4 November 2019) at the spectacular Museum of Zoology in Cambridge to celebrate their past year’s achievements at the first ever MiC Awards. Museums that successfully demonstrated their willingness to try new ideas, inspire visitors and take a creative approach to overcoming challenges competed to win one of six awards.
Host Jamie Everitt, Programme Manager of SHARE Museums East said of the awards:“This is a wonderful turnout for Cambridgeshire’s first ever museum awards and that demonstrates the need for this event, which aims to celebrate and advocate for the many achievements of museums in this County”.
With 35 nominations, the judging panel had great difficulty deciding who would win the awards, but eventually agreed on the following very deserving winners:
- New for You - Stained Glass Museum, Ely for their Spotlight and Behind the Scenes Tours
A simple but resourceful initiative which judges note goes “straight the heart of what museums are there to do”.
- Heritage Heroes - Sally Elding, Ramsey Rural Museum
An inspiring volunteer who “created an entire audience programme from scratch, built new partnerships, generated income for the museum and shared her experiences with local museum networks.” https://ramseyruralmuseum.co.uk/
- Project of the Year - Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, managed by Vivacity
A co-curated exhibition that reflected the most treasured belongings of people in diverse local communities, “linking historic residents of the city with their modern counterparts and reinforcing the concept that heritage is not limited to a narrow view of ‘things’; but also how we relate to what we share with one another.”
- Object of the Year - Sinclair ZX Spectrum Processor
47% of 1500 public votes cast on the MiC website named the Cambridge Centre for Computing History’s early computer as their favourite museum object.
- Small Museum of the Year – St Neots Museum
A museum noted to be “really listening to local communities, offering high-quality cultural opportunities that might not otherwise be available in the area…whoseachievements over the past year make them truly deserving of the title ‘Museum of the Year”.
- Large Museum of the Year – (jointly awarded to) Cambridge Museum of Technology and University of Cambridge Museum of Zoology
Cambridge Museum of Technology. Judges noted“the museum not only meets the expectations of a 21st Century visitor, but as a leading repository of information about Cambridge’s industrial past, places itself at the heart of Cambridgeshire’s heritage offer.”
University of Cambridge Museum of Zoology, amazed judges by continuing to “transform beyond its recent redevelopment and extending its reach by making its collection relevant to multiple new audiences." Last year, the museum exceeded expected visitor figures by 50,000, doubling the number of visits received prior to redevelopment, and was nominated for a national Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award. https://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk/
Small Museum of the Year winner Liz Davies, Curator of St Neots Museum said: “I can’t believe it, it’s brilliant. We’ve worked so hard this year so it’s lovely to be recognised for that.”
Melanie Worgan, Museum Partnerships Officer for Cambridgeshire County Council added: "Cambridgeshire has an incredible range of museums and these awards show that they offer something for everyone, from stained glass to early computers and personal possessions to industrial machines. Our museums need the continued support of their communities and in return, offer visitors the key to unlock the most extraordinary box of treasures.”
The next Cambridgeshire Museum Awards will take place in 2021. End.
Find out more about Museums in Cambridgeshire here.