Beamish Museum’s Chief Executive Rhiannon Hiles has been nominated in the outstanding individuals’ section of the 2023 National Lottery Awards.
Rhiannon has been shortlisted in the Heritage category as a result of her incredible work in the local community. In 1995, Rhiannon started work at the museum as a volunteer, aged 25, and her creative drive and tenacity saw her become CEO in 2021.
As part of her role, Rhiannon is overseeing Remaking Beamish, the biggest development in the museum’s 53-year history with over 25 new exhibits and attractions, including a reconstructed 1950s Town. The 1950s Town will feature a replica of aged miners’ homes that will provide a space for people living with dementia and other long-term health conditions.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Remaking Beamish project was awarded £10.9million by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2016.
Rhiannon, 53, said: “It’s such a great honour to be nominated for this award. I love the people and their stories and have great pride in the ways in which we engage with our visitors.
“I spend most days outside in the open-air museum – its people and our communities are at the heart of what we do.”
The National Lottery Awards are the annual celebration of the ordinary individuals and organisations who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.
This year, 3,780 people and projects were nominated for the work they have carried out with support from The National Lottery.
Over the summer, a panel made up of representatives from The National Lottery and partners will decide the winners in each of the individual categories.
Winners will be revealed in the autumn and will receive a £5,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.
Jonathan Tuchner, from The National Lottery, said: “The National Lottery Awards honour those who have stepped up and have gone the extra mile to make a difference in their communities, especially during these challenging times.
“Thanks to National Lottery players and the £30 million raised each week for good causes, thousands of individuals and projects throughout the UK have been making an incredible difference in their areas, and this is our chance to highlight and celebrate the exceptional work of these selfless local heroes.”
The outstanding individuals’ section of this year’s National Lottery Awards will honour unsung heroes in the categories of Arts, Culture & Film; Community & Charity; Heritage; Sport; Environment and Young Hero (Under 25s).
There will also be a Special Achievement Award to celebrate an exceptional individual whose selfless dedication has improved the lives of the people around them.
In addition to the outstanding individuals’ category, an online public vote will be held this year to find The National Lottery UK Project of the Year. Nominees will be whittled down to 17 finalists, with a UK-wide public vote in September deciding the winner.