Beamish Bags Best Shop Award

May 12th 2022

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North is delighted to have picked up an award at the national Museums + Heritage Awards last night.

Beamish was awarded Shop of the Year for The 1900s Town Market Stalls and was also Highly Commended in the Visitor Welcome Award at the ceremony in London last night (11th May).

Iszi Lawrence stands beside Matthew Henderson of Beamish Museum. Matthew is holding the Shop of the Year Award.

Beamish’s Matthew Henderson with comedian, podcaster and history presenter Iszi Lawrence, who hosted the Museums + Heritage Awards.

Matthew Henderson, Head of Commercial Operations and Development at Beamish, was among the speakers at the Museums + Heritage Show, which was followed by the awards ceremony.

Matthew said: “We’re so honoured to have won Shop of the Year for our 1900s Town Market Stalls. Having set them up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic when we were unable to open our shops and exhibits, they’ve become a permanent part of our visitor experience and are really popular with visitors, and are integral to fundraising for our independent museum.”

He added: “This award is testament to the team who work in all weathers to bring the market to life and to the local suppliers and producers who make such amazing things for us to sell on them.”

Yorkshire Sculpture Park was Highly Commended in the Shop of the Year category, and other shortlisted attractions included Tate and English Heritage Eltham Palace.

The awards celebrate innovative and ground-breaking initiatives from museums, galleries and heritage visitor attractions across the UK and overseas. The 2022 event marked the 20th anniversary of the industry-leading awards.

Anna Preedy, Director of the annual Museums + Heritage Awards, commented: “The awards have become the gold standard in the sector and the recognition that winners receive is a key motivator for staff and volunteers alike, boosting confidence by having their work promoted on a global scale.”

Often referred to as the “Oscars of the museum world”, previous winners have included Sir David Attenborough alongside hundreds of individuals and organisations from across the cultural sector.

This year’s judging panel was chaired by Bernard Donoghue, CEO of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), and consisted of Diane Lees CBE, Sara Wajid, Maggie Appleton MBE, Dr Matthew Tanner MBE, Sam Mullins, Caro Howell and Stephen Duncan.

Hosted by comedian, podcaster and history presenter Iszi Lawrence, the awards took place in a packed West End venue following the first day of the Museums + Heritage Show.

Beamish won the Pandemic Pivot Award in the Museums + Heritage 2021 Awards for developing creative approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable people to connect with and enjoy the museum.

Launched in 2003, the Museums + Heritage Awards, which were sponsored this year by Chargeurs Museums Studio, celebrate best practice and exceptional achievements in organisations small and large, the world over.

Museums + Heritage is an independent events and publishing company created to connect, inform and inspire. It is also a community of people who work in the world of museums, heritage and cultural visitor attractions who come together to learn, share and create.

Museums + Heritage Awards Winner logo

At the recent Cultural Enterprises Awards, Matthew Henderson won Rising Star and Overall Winner awards. The museum was also shortlisted for Best Product and Best Shop.

Beamish also recently won silver in the Large Visitor Attraction award and we were Highly Commended in the Resilience and Innovation Award at the 2022 North East England Tourism Awards.