Top national award for family friendly museum
Leeds City Museum are celebrating today after scooping a top national award for being the country’s most family friendly attraction.
The museum, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday, beat off competition from ten other sites around the UK to land the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award 2018.
At an awards ceremony held at London’s May Fair Hotel earlier today (October 1), Sam Flavin, the museum’s principal keeper, site development officer Richard Higson-Blythe and visitor assistants Kate Shopland and Afreen Hussain were presented with the prestigious award by art dealer, writer and broadcaster Philip Mould OBE.
Run by charity Kids in Museums, the award is the biggest and only museum award in Britain to be decided by families and is awarded to one museum that has made outstanding efforts to welcome children and families and respond to their feedback.
The finalists were assessed by undercover family judges, who visited each shortlisted museum over the summer, with experiences determining the winner.
They said Leeds City Museum stood out for its “warm and welcoming” staff, who were present throughout the museum and went the extra mile to help visitors. They also praised the museum for being representative of the different communities in Leeds in its exhibitions.
Emmajane Avery, Chair of Kids in Museums, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to recognise the fantastic work that Leeds City Museum is doing to engage young people and their families.
“It was an extremely competitive year, with 11 brilliant venues in the shortlist, but the team in Leeds really impressed our family judges with their great welcome and willingness to help, as well as their varied and dynamic year-round public activities.
“My congratulations to everyone at Leeds City Museum and the undoubted inspiration they bring to the next generation of historians and culture lovers.”
Since Leeds City Museum opened the doors of its current Millennium Square home, more than 2,742,549 visitors have explored the site.
The museum has also welcomed more than 85,341 children on a school trips.
Among the museum’s favourite attractions are a 3,000 year-old Egyptian mummy and the 170 year-old Leeds Tiger, which welcomes visitors to the spectacular Life on Earth gallery.
More than 917,207 visitors have also attended the site’s 24 special exhibitions over the past decade, including last year’s For All Seasons, which took families on an interactive journey through the four seasons, exploring the different ways they shape the world around us.
The museum is currently hosting Beavers to Weavers, which gives children and their families a closer look at the beautiful creations made by some of the natural world’s most accomplished animal architects.
The museum, which is free to enter, also hosts a regular programme of Museum Minis activities for children and families including multi-sensory mornings in a designated pop-up sensory room.
Congratulating the museum, Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled and immensely proud to see Leeds City Museum recognised for giving children and families such a warm welcome and for bringing history to life for thousands of young people in our city.
“This is a massive endorsement for the passion and enthusiasm of the team there and the dedication they show in making the museum a fun and accessible place for children to enjoy while they learn more about history, heritage and the world around them.
“Our ambition is always for Leeds to be a child friendly city and staff at all our attractions work hard to put children, families and young people at the heart of everything they do.”
For more details about Leeds City Museum, visit: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/leedscitymuseum
Leeds City Museum
Leeds City Museum was established in 1819 and reopened on 13 September 2008, having moved to the former Mechanics’ Institute located on Millennium Square in the centre of Leeds. With four floors and six galleries to visit, the museum offers an exciting, fun and interactive day out for all the family. The museum collection spans ancient and contemporary history, the local area and the wider world. The museum’s temporary exhibition space hosts a changing programme of non-permanent exhibitions; currently Beavers to Weavers: The Wonderful World of Animal Makers, open until 6 January 2019. Family activities and school holiday events take place throughout the year including craft sessions at Rory’s Saturday Club, Tiny Tigers for under 5s and Museum Minis. The museum has dedicated conference and events spaces, with in-house catering provided by Leeds City Museum Café. The museum welcomed 301,933 visitors in 2017.
Leeds Museums & Galleries
Leeds Museums & Galleries is the largest local authority-run museum service in England and has one of the larger and most significant multidisciplinary collections in the UK. They care for 1.3 million objects which they use to inspire, educate, entertain and challenge the people of Leeds and visitors to the city. They run nine historic sites and visitor attractions, welcoming over 1.3 million visitors each year.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 378 9182 (please note my new number)