Known as the ‘Oscars of the museums world’, the Museums + Heritage Awards celebrate the very best in the world of museums, galleries, cultural and heritage visitor attractions.  The 2022 shortlist represents the creative spirit of this sector with projects which are bold, challenging and of the highest quality.  Regardless of budget, size of organisation or location, the Museums + Heritage Awards give opportunity to everyone.

Hundreds of entrants from around the world will battle it out to win one of seventeen prestigious awards, in categories such as Best Use of Digital, Exhibition of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Shop of the Year, Learning Programme of the Year, and Restoration/ Conservation Project of the Year.  In 2021, the National Museum of the Royal Navy was the joint winner of the latter Award for their restoration of the landing craft tank LCT 7074

2022's shortlist includes two Bristol museums, SS Great Britain Trust and M Shed, which are both also National Historic Ships UK Shipshape Network South West projects.  

SS Great Britain Trust's 2021 immersive experience Iron Island has been shortlisted in the Temporary or Touring Exhibition of the Year (Budget under £80,000) category. 

For the first time in 50 years the sights, sounds and movement of a living sea were brought back to surround SS Great Britain’s hull.  Working with poet Saili Katebe and composer Joe Acheson, Limbic Cinema transformed the dry dock (where the SS Great Britain was constructed between 1839 and 1843) into a huge digital projection theatre, filled with the energy of the world’s underwater oceans.  The front end of the Grade II listed dry dock was transformed into an immersive experience by award-winning multimedia design studio Limbic Cinema.  It combined projection, lighting and surround sound to transport audiences on a journey through underwater worlds.  Much of the 1,000 square metres of laminated glass overhead were darkened, providing a truly unique space for projection-mapped imagery to emerge on the walls and the iron hull.

In the Partnership of the Year category, Bristol Culture & Creative Industries with We Are Bristol History Commission have been shortlisted for the The Colston Statue: What Next exhibition, held in summer 2021 at M Shed in Bristol. 

The exhibition displayed the now infamous statue of Bristol slave trader Edward Colston that was pulled down from its plinth and thrown into Bristol harbour during a Black Lives Matter march in June 2020.  One year on, the statue formed part of a display at M Shed to start a city-wide conversation about its future. It was on display alongside a selection of placards from the protest as well as a timeline of key events leading up to 7 June 2020.  An accompanying survey asked people what they think should happen to the statue next. Initial findings will be included in a report written by the We Are Bristol History Commission and due to be published in early 2022.

The Front of House Team at M Shed and parent organisation Bristol Museums were also shortlisted in the new Visitor Welcome category. 

The winners will be announced at a glittering live ceremony on Wednesday 11 May.

Read the full shortlist

Read more about M Shed and SS Great Britain Trust, part of our Shipshape Network South West

Region South West