Beamish, The Living Museum of the North named Top Accessible Venue

February 10th 2020

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North has been named as Northern England’s Top Accessible Venue by disabled access charity Euan’s Guide.

Beamish is the only venue in the region to have been presented with the award which recognises our outstanding commitment to providing a fantastic welcome for disabled visitors.

Samantha Swinbank, Volunteer and Access Co-ordinator, at Beamish, said: “We’re so proud to receive the Top Accessible Venue award as it is recognition for staff and volunteers who go above and beyond for our visitors. We are all committed to making the museum as accessible as possible. We are excited for the future, continuing our development and hopefully, welcoming many new visitors.”

Dr Linda Garbutt, Chair of the Beamish Access Panel, said: “I was absolutely delighted when I heard about the award what with all the work that has gone on with the Access Panel, staff and volunteers in making provisions for people with access needs.”

Disabled people nominated hundreds of venues for the Top Accessible Venue awards, of those nominated, only eight were selected as England’s Top Accessible Venues.

Rhiannon Hiles, Deputy Director Beamish Museum, said: “I feel incredibly proud to receive this wonderful accolade and to be recognised nationally for the work we do in making the museum more accessible for disabled people”.

Euan MacDonald, Co-Founder of Euan’s Guide, said: “Last year, we awarded four venues across the UK. This year we felt it was only fitting to recognise eight venues that stretch across the UK. Each of these venues has shown tremendous commitment to providing an excellent experience to all in 2019, making them ideal places to visit in 2020.

With the help of the museum’s Access Panel, we work hard to ensure that our exhibits are as accessible as possible. Accessible parking is available at the museum with free wheelchair hire available from the Entrance.

An Accessible Bus, with a tail lift, is available to transport visitors around the museum and can carry up to four wheelchairs.

Our 1950s welfare hall, which opened in July 2019, features Changing Places facilities for people with severe disabilities. The facilities feature a wash and dry toilet, hoist, changing bench and adjustable basin.

The other venues who have received the award are Barbican Centre (London), Newquay Zoo (Southern England), Cadbury World (Midlands), Holyrood Distillery (Southern Scotland), Culloden (Northern Scotland), Folly Farm (Wales) and George Best Belfast City Airport (Northern Ireland).

The awards, which are now in their second year, recognise the best accessible venues in each region, based on public nominations and reviews shared on the Euan’s Guide website.

To find out more about accessibility at Beamish Museum or to download a copy of our Access Guide, visit our accessibility webpage.