Birmingham museum scoops top award

By on 23/04/2010 in Culture, News

mjqBirmingham's Museum of the Jewellery Quarter has won a top national tourism award - cementing its growing reputation as a leading tourist attraction.

The Hockley museum, opened in 1992, has been named the best small visitor attraction in the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010, beating Oakham Treasures in Bristol and Harrogate's Ripley Castle to secure the accolade.

Situated in the heart of Birmingham's world famous Jewellery Quarter, the museum was named Best Small Attraction in last year's Heart of England Excellence Awards - a scheme celebrating the best tourist attractions in the region.

Two years ago it was named the third best free tourist attraction in Europe by TripAdvisor, behind the Pantheon in Rome and the National Gallery in London.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chair of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership, said: “This is a richly deserved award. The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter truly is one of Birmingham's real gems and deserves this high profile national award.

“Our industrial and cultural heritage will play a key part in our final City of Culture bid and this wonderful museum brilliantly showcases Birmingham's renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage.”

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter has just completed a record breaking year with over 51,000 visitors for 2009-10 - a 50 per cent increase on the previous high.

Highlights at the museum include:

  • Visit to the Smith & Pepper factory by guided tour. Allow one hour for guided tour. Last tour approximately one hour before closing. The maximum number of people on each tour is 18.
  • The museum shop, which stocks a range of locally made designer-maker jewellery.
  • Live demonstrations at the jeweller's bench showing how the Smith & Pepper bangle was made.
  • The vast array of original tools, stamps and machinery that remains inside the factory

Museum curator/manager Victoria Emmanuel added: “The museum continues to grow from strength to strength and we’re delighted with this award.

“We obviously focus on the history of Birmingham's world famous Jewellery Quarter but also look to the future, commissioning new work from exciting local designers. The museum is a real Birmingham success story and can hopefully form part of a winning UK City of Culture bid.”

[mappress]

ENDS

Click on the following link to download images of the museum. http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/sets/72157623888365416/

Click on the following link for more information about Birmingham's UK City of Culture bid. http://birminghamculture.org/

For further information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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