Museum is tops for family visits

MANSFIELD Museum has been named as one of the top six attractions in the country for family visits.

The museum is among half a dozen venues nationwide to make it to the final of the annual Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award.

Mansfield District Council’s facility, which is free to enter, was one of more than 100 museums in the UK originally nominated for the award by visitors.

Coun Kate Allsop, the council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “For a relatively small museum like ours to make it into the top six of such a prestigious national award is an incredible achievement.

“It is in no small way down to the brilliant employees who make a visit there so welcoming and entertaining.

“The council is hugely proud of the museum and all the recognition it receives is richly deserved.”

The nominees were whittled down to a list of around 20 last month, with Mansfield Museum alongside major attractions like Leeds City Museum, Manchester Art Gallery and Think Tank Birmingham Science Centre.

The final shortlist was then drawn up by a panel of leaders in the museum world, chaired by Jenny Abramsky, chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Now Mansfield Museum and its fellow finalists will be anonymously road tested by undercover families before the winner is announced during a ceremony at the offices of The Guardian newspaper in London on 7th April.

Dea Birkett, director of Kids in Museums, said: “Judges were particularly impressed by ‘the energy and enthusiasm pouring out of the museum’ and the large number of free summer activities for families.

“Mansfield proves that you don’t have to be a big, national museum to make a real difference.

Mansfield Museum first opened its doors in 1904 and has been based on Leeming Street since 1938. It is free to enter and attracts around 40,000 visitors every year.

l For more information about the Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award visit www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/awards.