Museums + Heritage Awards

Museums + Heritage Awards 2020 applications are now open

Image: Museum + Heritage Awards 2019 © Simon Callaghan Photography

Applications are now open for the 18th annual Museums + Heritage Awards, with the entire sector once again set to compete to be part of the glittering London ceremony which celebrates excellence in the industry.

Whether a global institution with a multi-million pound budget or a volunteer-run site operating in a single room, there’s an award category for all organisations. Applications for 2020 gongs will need to be submitted by 31st January.

This year’s ceremony, which will bestow awards upon 13 successful nominees who have demonstrated remarkable innovation, ingenuity and skill, will be held on 13th May.

Once all applications have been received, the panel of esteemed judges will assess each candidate in the months leading up to the awards ceremony.

Applying for the 2020 awards

To support all applications, a step-by-step guide detailing the entire process has been prepared to ensure you have the best chance of finding yourself on stage in May.

The 2019 edition of the awards proved a huge success, and one which the director of the awards, Anna Preedy, is keen to build on in 2020.

“I am delighted that the awards continue to go from strength to strength, attracting ever more entries from a wide range of organisations, right across the world,” Preedy said.

“The diversity of our winners reflects the true nature of this sector, with projects and organisations of all budgets and sizes being awarded the recognition they deserve. I’m looking forward to seeing who will make it through this year and to learning more about the amazing achievements of all our entrants.”

In the coming weeks we will be shining a light on last year’s winners, taking a look at how their success has enabled them to push on in their practice.

Last year's winners

Innovation of the Year
They Shall Not Grow Old (14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museum)

Restoration or Conservation Project of the Year
Painted Hall Project (Old Royal Naval College)

Educational Initiative of the Year
Leeds Curriculum (Leeds Museums & Galleries)

Shop of the Year turnover less than £500k
Retail Transformation at the Florence Nightingale Museum

Shop of the Year turnover more than £500k
BALTIC Shop Refurbishment (BALTIC Shop, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art)

Limited Budget Project of the Year
Wonder Women of Space Exhibition (Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Bath)

Marketing Campaign of the Year
Look at this Absolute Unit (The Museum of English Rural Life)

Individual Volunteer of the Year
John Jenkins (The D-Day Story)

Volunteer Team of the Year
Multaka-Oxford Volunteer Team (History of Science Museum and Pitt Rivers Museums, University of Oxford Museums)

Temporary or Touring Exhibition of the Year
Spanish Flu: Nursing During History’s Deadliest Pandemic (Florence Nightingale Museum)

Partnership of the Year
Dippy on Tour, a natural history adventure (Natural History Museum, Dorset County Museum and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ulster Museum in Belfast)

International Project of the Year, less than £1m
Gapu-Monuk Saltwater: Journey to Sea Country (Australian National Maritime Museum)

International Project of the Year, more than £1m
Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Permanent Exhibition of the Year
Being Brunel (SS Great Britain Trust)

A highlight of the 2019 awards, and one which took most delegates by surprise, was the Special Recognition Award which was bestowed upon Sir David Attenborough.

The world-renowned naturalist, who accepted his prize via video, spoke of delight at receiving the award, before adding: “Museums are among my favourite places. I have been involved with them for most of my life, one way or another, and I have never known them actually not being under attack and under-funded.

“If I have contributed to one museum or any other museum in preserving those ideals that are so important to all of us, I’m very grateful indeed that you should think so.”

The 2020 Museums + Heritage Awards Ceremony will take place on 13th May at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY. Tickets are available here.