18/04/2011 - Permalink

Acton Scott shortlisted for museums ‘Oscars’

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage

Acton Scott Historic Working Farm has been shortlisted for the prestigious Museums & Heritage Awards for Excellence, the ‘Oscars’ of the museums world.

Acton Scott was submitted for the ‘Classic Award’, open to any museum, gallery or heritage attraction that has been established for 10 years or more.

The judges were looking for evidence of continued growth, development and visitor interest over the long term, with emphasis placed on the ongoing relevance and vibrancy of the site.

Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“The competition was extremely tough, with hundreds of strong candidates competing for a place among the finalists.  Whatever happens in the final, it’s a tribute to all the hard work that has gone on at Acton Scott over the last three years by its dedicated staff and highly-skilled craftspeople.

“Our application concentrated on the recent developments at Acton Scott following the £1.5 million investment from Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and Shropshire Council in 2008.

“Thanks to this investment, Acton Scott has become a true centre of excellence with the provision of new and improved built facilities, better access, better interpretation, IT and electrical supply infrastructure and the development of a new approach to the preservation of traditional skills through courses and other training opportunities.”

In 2010 visitor numbers to the farm reached 44,947.  The traditional rural craft and trade course programme, that began just three years ago, has grown to include 55 different courses for 2011, of which 32% are already fully booked.

The schools programme has also developed, with a challenging programme that places far greater emphasis on food and farming and issues of sustainability.  School visit numbers rose from 2,909 in 2009 to 4,221 in 2010.

The awards will be presented in Westminster, London on Wednesday 11 May 2011.  Acton Scott will be competing against much larger organisations, including the Science Museum, London and Merseyside Maritime Museum.