Bolton Central Library and Museum has been shortlisted for the prestigious Family Friendly Museum Award, it was announced today.
The charity Kids in Museums awards the prize annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site in the UK that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families.
It is the only museum award that is judged by families.
Throughout April and May, families across the country voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website.
A panel of museum experts then whittled down more than 800 nominations to a shortlist of 15 across three categories.
Bolton Museum hosts a number a family friendly events throughout the year ranging from daily school holiday activities, special events and its relaxed openings.
The centrepiece exhibition, Bolton’s Egypt, uses family friendly interpretation and interactive features to explain what life was like in ancient Egypt and bring the museum’s collection of artefacts to life.
Emmajane Avery, Chair of Kids in Museums, said: “It’s great to see Bolton Museum and Art Gallery on the shortlist for this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award.
“To make it to the shortlist in our most competitive year yet is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work staff have put in to create an enjoyable experience for families.
“The museum’s recent redevelopment has put families at the heart of the museum. We were impressed to see great activities for all ages, from babies to teenagers.
“We wish the museum the best of luck in the next round of judging.”
Bolton Museum is vying against five other nominees in the Medium Museum Category.
It will now be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto.
Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and the overall winner of Family Friendly Museum of the Year 2019.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in October.
Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: “I’m delighted that the museum has been nominated for another prestigious award.
“It is vitally important to get young people interested in history, art, culture and science, and the team have done a fantastic job making sure the exhibits appeal to visitors of all ages.
“Once again, Bolton Museum is competing against some of the most famous museums and galleries in the country.
“This is yet more proof of our museum’s growing reputation as a great cultural attraction, not only for local families but for visitors from across the UK.”
Now in its 14th year, previous winners of the award include Manchester’s People’s History Museum in Manchester (2017) and the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London (2013).
Feedback from families who nominated Bolton Museum:
- “Bolton Museum has always been and will always be the people's museum. We are very proud of it.”
- “This museum is fantastic for families – each area is very carefully thought out with low level interactive resources for children from a young age. There is opportunity for hands on learning including the chance to dress up! For once I was able to visit a museum and not have to be constantly saying "don't touch that!"
- “This museum has recently been renovated and they have done a fantastic job. Something for everyone at Bolton museum whether you're nine or 99! The kids loved the Egyptian tomb and film display, daddy loved the history of Bolton and mummy's favourite was the LGBTQ history display. We will be back!!”
A full list of museums shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2019:
Large Museums Category
• Museum of Liverpool
• Riverside Museum, Glasgow
• World Museum, Liverpool
Medium Museums Category
• Bolton Museum
• Great North Museum: Hancock
• London Transport Museum
• The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent
• Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge
• University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
Small Museums Category
• Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum, Dunfermline
• The Devil’s Porridge Museum, Eastriggs
• Erewash Museum, Derbyshire
• Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
• Parc Howard Museum, Llanelli
• Valence House Museum, Dagenham