Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence 2019 shortlist announced

The Museums + Heritage Awards, now in their 17th year, continue to generate public recognition for the winners and shortlistees and have been instrumental in helping many to secure funding and support from key stakeholders

They recognise the innovators and leaders of the UK and international museums, galleries and heritage visitor attractions and there are 14 awards are up for grabs this year

Following the 1 February deadline, which saw hundreds of entries, the judging panel, made up of five sector leaders, has deliberated long and hard over this year’s M+H Awards entries to make its final shortlist

Judges include this year’s chair Diane Lees, Director General of the Imperial War Museums; Bernard Donoghue, Director of ALVA; Matthew Tanner, Chief Executive of the SS Great Britain Trust; Stephen Duncan, Commercial and Tourism Director for Historic Scotland and Maggie Appleton, Chief Executive of the Royal Air Force Museum.

It's been another year of amazing creativity despite the challenges of our sector. The shortlist features projects of great innovation and community focus making the job of judging very difficult

Diane Lees, chair of the judging panel and Director General of the Imperial War Museums


The award winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the historic staterooms of 8 Northumberland Avenue on 15 May where more than 300 industry professionals will converge in the heart of London to find out who has triumphed.

Among last year’s big winners were Brooklands Museum, The Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Flight Shed for the best Permanent Exhibition and Holland Open Air Museum and Kossmann.dejong, The Canon of Dutch History in the best International Project.

Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence 2019 shortlist

Permanent Exhibition of the Year

Scottish Design Galleries  ZMMA on behalf of V&A Dundee

World Gallery  Horniman Museum and Gardens

Bolton’s Egypt  Bolton Museum with The Creative Core

The D-Day Story  Portsmouth Museums

Endeavour Galleries Project  National Maritime Museum

RAF Museum RAF Centenary Programme  RAF Museum

Being Brunel  SS Great Britain Trust

Restoration or Conservation Project of the Year

Kew Gardens Great Pagoda  Austin-Smith:Lord on behalf of Historic Royal Palaces

Temperate House Precinct Project  Donald Insall Associates on behalf of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

English Heritage’s Iron Bridge Conservation Project  English Heritage

Painted Hall Project – Old Royal Naval College

Saving Samson  Plowden & Smith Ltd and Norfolk Museums Service

St Albans Museum + Gallery – St Albans Museums

Sponsored by Rochester Bridge Trust 

Temporary or Touring Exhibiton of the Year

The National Tour of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft Science Museum Group

Michael Pendry’s ‘Les Colombes’ #SalisburyCityofDoves  Salisbury Cathedral

Spanish Flu: Nursing During History’s Deadliest Pandemic – Florence Nightingale Museum

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors  National Museums Liverpool

Fatberg!  Museum of London

Ladies of Quality & Distinction  The Foundling Museum

Sponsored by Displayways

Educational Initiative of the Year

The Aerospace Bristol Learning Programme  Aerospace Bristol

Battle Bus  London Transport Museum

Leeds Curriculum  Leeds Museums & Galleries

Green Spaces, Natural Faces  Maidstone Museum Learning Team

The Jolly Postman Programme  The Postal Museum

Royal Air Force Museum – STAAR – Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency

Innovation of the Year

They Shall Not Grow Old  14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museum

Inside Out – Scottish Submarine Centre  Scottish Submarine Trust

Museum ExplorAR augmented reality experience  Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales in partnership with Jam Creative Studios

Hold the World  Natural History Museum in partnership with Factory 42, SKY VR and Sir David Attenborough

Space Lives  Royal Museums Greenwich

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors  National Museums Liverpool

Sponsored by The Hub

Partnership of the Year

Recognising Volunteers in the City of London and across the UK  Tempo & Tower Bridge

Multaka-Oxford  Oxford University Gardens, Libraries & Museums

First World War Centenary Partnership  Imperial War Museums

Dippy on Tour, a natural history adventure  Natural History Museum with Dorset County Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ulster Museum

Protecting and sharing the Heritage of Britain’s Oldest Theatre  Bristol Old Vic, Bristol Archives and Theatre Collection

Finding Fatberg: Investigation and analysis of the Whitechapel Monster  Museum of London, Cranfield University & Thames Water

Supported by Arts Council England

International Project of the Year, less than £1m

Escher Op Reis/Escher’s Journey  Fries Museum/XPEX Experience Experts

Instinct, a beastly exhibition  MAS in Young Hands, 16 young volunteers aged 16 to 26

Gapu-Monuk Saltwater: Journey to Sea Country – Australian National Maritime Museum

Hirshhorn Eye  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution

International Project of the Year, more than £1m

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination  The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sir John Monash Centre  The Commonwealth Government of Australia

Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again  National Library of Ireland

Royal Alberta Museum Renewal  Royal Alberta Museum

Museum at the Gateway Arch redevelopment, St Louis – Haley Sharpe Design Ltd

Limited Budget Project of the Year

Wonder Women of Space Exhibition  Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Bath

“The Checks” Commemorating the Mining Communities of Kent  Studio Evans Lane as part of Historic England’s “Immortalised” exhibition

Chichester Roman Week 2018 – The Novium Museum

Happy Older People  National Museums Liverpool

Climate Hack  University of Cambridge Museums

Marketing Campaign of the Year

Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft – Ashmolean Museum

New Galleries  Royal Museums Greenwich

Bash Street’s Back at The McMenace  The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, Leisure & Culture Dundee

Look at this Absolute Unit  The Museum of English Rural Life

Come to Life  Natural History Museum

Sponsored by BVA BDRC

Volunteer Team of the Year

Holbourne Volunteers The Holburne Museum

Liverpool Women’s History Group  National Museums Liverpool

Volunteers of Calderdale Industrial Museum Association  Calderdale Industrial Museum

Multaka-Oxford Volunteer Team  History of Science Museum and Pitt Rivers Museums, University of Oxford Museums

Project Digby  Leicestershire County Council

In Partnership with the Association of Independent Museums 

Individual Volunteer of the Year

Carl Clee ‘Our Bee Man’  National Museums Liverpool

Dave Simpson  Ravenglass Railway Museum

John Jenkins  The D-Day Story, Portsmouth Museums

Gordon Clitheroe  Pickering Beck Isle Museum

Katie Watt  HMS Caroline, National Museum of the Royal Navy

In Partnership with the Association of Independent Museums 

Shop of the Year turnover more than £500k

BALTIC Shop Refurbishment  BALTIC Shop, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition shop at World Museum  National Museums Liverpool

RAF Museum RAF Centenary Programme  RAF Museum

V&A Dundee Shop  Lumsden Design for V&A Dundee

The Shop at Japan House London  Japan House London

Shop of the Year turnover less than £500k

Insight Investment Photography Shop – Royal Museums Greenwich

Aerospace Bristol Gift Shop  Aerospace Bristol

Retail Transformation at the Florence Nightingale Museum – Florence Nightingale Museum