Council heritage sites claim learning awards

Caption: Leeds Art Gallery is one of four sites to be recognised for its commitment to learning.

Four Leeds City Council heritage sites have been awarded a top learning award.

Awarded by the Heritage Education Trust, Leeds Museum Discovery Centre, Leeds Art Gallery, Thwaite Mills Watermill and Leeds Industrial Museum have each earned a Sandford Award, which recognises the high standard of heritage learning currently on offer to visitors at each attraction.

In claiming the award which last five years, the winners will join four other sites in the city to hold the award. These include Temple Newsam House, Leeds City Museum, Abbey House Museum and Kirkstall Abbey which recently has also been shortlisted in the 'Britain’s favourite heritage site' category of the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2013.

This success follows the news that all nine of the council’s museums and galleries in the city have also been granted full accreditation by Arts Council England. This scheme sets nationally agreed standards for UK museums. To qualify museums must meet standards on how they are managed, for the services they offer and how they care for collections.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said:

"We are very fortunate to have some fantastic arts and heritage sites across the city, and I am delighted that this has been recognised in the Sandford Awards and by Arts Council England in their Accreditation scheme.

"At each of these attractions, a lot of hard work is put in on a day-to-day basis to provide the public with a great experience, and I would personally like to thank the council’s heritage team for all their efforts.

"These awards are I believe recognition of their skill and commitment, and I look forward to seeing our heritage sites continuing to provide a great service in the future."

Notes to editors:

For more information about Leeds Museums and Galleries, please see: www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries

For more information on the Sandford Awards, please see: http://www.heritageeducationtrust.org.uk/het_ssi/awards.shtml

For more information on the Arts Council accreditation scheme, please see: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/supporting-museums/accreditation-scheme/

Full details on how to vote for Kirkstall Abbey in the BBC Countryfile awards can be found on the programme’s website at www.countryfile.com/awardsvote. Votes can also be sent via email to awards@countryfile.com. The deadline to enter is September 30.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk