Beamish Museum in final of national tourism awards

February 3rd 2016

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North is celebrating today after being named as a finalist in the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016.

The museum has been shortlisted for the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year Award, by VisitEngland, the national tourist board.

Richard Evans, Beamish’s Director, said: “It’s fantastic news that we are a finalist in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016.

“We are so pleased and this means such a lot to our staff and volunteers, of whom we are so proud. For Beamish to be a finalist at these awards is such an achievement and is great recognition for what we do.”

The winners will be revealed at a ceremony at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on 8th March, during English Tourism Week.

Other finalists alongside Beamish in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category are Brunel’s ss Great Britain, in Bristol; Chester Zoo; Salisbury Cathedral and The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.

Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain and VisitEngland, said: “Awards for Excellence finalists exemplify outstanding tourism talent and distinguished businesses throughout England.

“We received over 400 truly impressive applications this year and there’s absolutely no doubt those shortlisted are representatives of the best in the industry who place delivering an unforgettable experience to visitors in England at the heart of their business operations.

“I’d like to congratulate all finalists and wish them the very best of luck on Awards night at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.”

Beamish’s Matthew Henderson, Engagement and Participation Team Assistant, was voted national Tourism Superstar in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2015, with the ceremony held at the Sage Gateshead.

Beamish was named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the North East England Tourism Awards 2014 and 2015. Last year, the museum was joint Gold winner with Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books.

Beamish has attracted record visitor numbers in recent years and welcomed 655,936 visitors in 2014/15.

Further exciting times are ahead for the museum, which will open a chemist’s shop and photographer’s studio in its 1900s Town in late spring 2016.

The £17million Remaking Beamish project includes plans to build a 1950s Town, including cinema, shops, houses and cafe, and expand the Georgian area, including a coaching inn where visitors can stay overnight. The museum has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with a decision on a second round of funding due to be made this summer.