Stoke-on-Trent museum shortlisted for national award

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The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery has been shortlisted for the prestigious Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

The Stoke-on-Trent attraction was selected out of more than 800 nominations from across the UK and will now compete against 15 finalists for the national prize.

UK charity Kids in Museums awards the honour annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families. It is the only museum award to be judged by families.

Throughout April and May, visitors from across the country voted for their favourite attraction on the Kids in Museums website before a panel of experts decided the shortlist. The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Hanley was selected as a finalist for the main prize and is also vying for the charity’s medium museums award.

Undercover family judges will now visit the site to assess it against the Kids in Museums manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each category and an overall champion for the main prize. The winners will then be announced at an awards ceremony in London in October.

Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “We’re so delighted to be shortlisted for this honour, it’s fantastic recognition and shows what the museum is all about. The fact we were nominated by families who have enjoyed the museum is one of the best pieces of praise we could get. The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery has something for all ages and that’s the reason thousands of visitors keep returning to enjoy all that it has to offer. The hard work our teams put in to provide amazing exhibitions and events really is paying off. With plans for improvements including a new Spitfire Gallery at the site the future is bright. We’re really looking forward to a packed summer of activities and displays which will draw in families from all across the area and beyond.”

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Chinese New Year celebrations

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery provides a vast range of activities and displays for families to enjoy, including regular galleries such as the archaeology, natural science, ceramics, local history, fine art and design displays. It also houses the Spitfire Gallery with current plans moving forward for a new gallery with the restored Spitfire at its centre. There is also the fantastic Staffordshire Hoard exhibition, which includes items from the 7th century treasure – the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. And there are events throughout the year, such as the recent Chinese New Year Festival which saw more than 4,000 visitors enjoy demonstrations and craft activities in one day.

Upcoming events include the Ozzy Owl fairy tale trail throughout June, a Staffordshire Hoard festival during July, and celebrations in July and August for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing on July 20.

Emmajane Avery, chair of Kids in Museums, said: “It’s great to see the Potteries Museum & 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. We were impressed by the museum’s focus on literacy and families told us how much they enjoyed the free family events during the school holidays. We wish the museum the best of luck in the next round of judging.”