The judges were impressed by the museum's walk-on exhibits, including the Sea King rescue helicoptor

National Maritime Museum Cornwall wins family friendly award

Geraldine Kendall, 26.09.2014
Falmouth museum scoops prize judged by families
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC) has scooped the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award for 2014, which is run by the charity Kids in Museums and judged by families.

The Falmouth institution scooped the prize at an award ceremony in London today, topping a shortlist of six UK museums that included Beamish Museum in the North East and the Elgin Museum in Scotland.

The independent museum, which opened 11 years ago, impressed the judges with elements such as its interactive exhibits, open access displays and extensive programme of free activities for children and families.

Jonathan Griffin, the director of NMMC, told the Telegraph: “If you reach families you are reaching a very diverse group: different ages, abilities, backgrounds. If you get it right for them, you get it right for lots of audiences.

“We are 100% funded by the visitors, we are not like the big national museums, we have to live on our wits. That’s why the whole place is so focused on making it a brilliant experience for visitors.”

Broadcaster and historian Dan Snow, who is a patron of Kids in Museums, said: “It’s fantastic that National Maritime Museum Cornwall has won the award. Britain is a seafaring nation, and the museum tells the story of our relationship with the sea which makes it fascinating for families and children of all ages.

“If museums throughout the country could tell stories of our shared history this well, we’d have a whole generation of young people who’d be museum goers and historians. We’d also have young people who could imagine new and better futures, inspired by the stories of the past.”

The longlist for the prize was selected earlier this year by a panel of experts including Sharon Heal, the Museums Association’s head of events and publications.

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