The winner of the national Family Friendly Museum Award was announced today at an awards ceremony hosted by art dealer and broadcaster, Philip Mould OBE, at the May Fair Hotel in London.

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 in the UK to be judged by families.

The Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum is the first Scottish winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award, fending off competition from 14 other venues. The museum received glowing reviews from family judges who praised its welcoming staff, colour-coded family zones, year-round programme of activities, sensory backpacks, hands-on exhibits and great facilities.

Emmajane Avery, Chair of Kids in Museums, said: “I’m thrilled to see the first Scottish winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award, particularly in the award’s biggest year yet! This success is an excellent illustration of how museums, regardless of their size or budget, can provide a great experience for families. Congratulations to the team at the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum and to all our shortlisted museums, who are doing great things to welcome children and families.”

From over 800 public nominations – making it the award’s most competitive year ever – 15 museums, from large national institutions to volunteer-run venues, were shortlisted for the award by an expert panel. The finalists were assessed by undercover family judges, who visited the shortlisted museums over the summer, with their experiences deciding the winner.

One undercover family judge said: “Considering the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum is relatively small, we were not expecting to spend much time there. We had spent the day in Dunfermline doing other things, and were ‘popping in’ to the museum on our way back to the train station to head back home to Edinburgh. We ended up staying over two hours! The museum goes above and beyond in making themselves a welcoming place for families. I have visited many much bigger museums that don’t make even half as much effort. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to other families.”

This year also marks the centenary of Andrew Carnegie’s death. The free museum explores the legacy of Andrew Carnegie, from his humble beginnings in Dunfermline to becoming the richest man in the world and the father of modern philanthropy.

The Museum of Liverpool and the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle were also celebrated at today’s Family Friendly Museum Award ceremony, winning the Large and Medium Museum category awards respectively.

The Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum join formers winners, York Art Gallery (2016), the People’s History Museum in Manchester (2017) and Leeds City Museum (2018), which has just seen its most successful year to date.

The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England and is kindly supported by Edwardian Hotels London.

Notes to Editors

For more information or images, please contact Jocelyn Murdoch at Kids in Museums on jocelyn@kidsinmuseums.org.uk / 020 3096 7707

About Kids in Museums

We are a charity dedicated to making museums open and welcoming to all children, young people and families. We support and champion family friendly organisations through wide-ranging initiatives, including the Family Friendly Museum Award and Takeover Day. We invite heritage organisations to sign up to our Manifesto, which sets out simple guidelines for making museums easy to reach for all ages. www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk

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About the Family Friendly Museum Award

Kids in Museums began the Family Friendly Museum Award in 2004 and the prize is now in its fourteenth year. The Award champions museums who place families’ voices at the heart of their organisations. The nominees are judged against the Kids in Museums Manifesto, which is a set of simple guidelines for museums created with children, young people and families, setting out what they feel makes a museum a great place to visit.

The other shortlisted museums for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2019 were:

Large Museum Category
  • Museum of Liverpool
  • Riverside Museum, Glasgow
  • World Museum, Liverpool
Medium Museum Category
  • Bolton Museum & Art Gallery
  • 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 Museum 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

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk