Jewel in the crown up for top award

By on 19/04/2010 in News

With Birmingham pushing for the first ever UK City of Culture crown, the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is also in line for a top national tourism award.

The Hockley museum, opened in 1992, will discover on Friday (April 23) if it has scooped the top accolade in the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010.

The other finalists are Oakham Treasures in Bristol and Ripley Castle in Harrogate

As befits an attraction in Birmingham's world famous Jewellery Quarter, the museum is no stranger to gold and was named Best Small Attraction in last year's Heart of England Excellence Awards - a scheme celebrating the best tourist attractions in the region.

That accolade put the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter in the frame for Friday's national awards ceremony in Brighton.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chair of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership, said: “The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter truly is one of Birmingham's real gems and deserves to be in the frame for such a 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.

In 2008 it was named the third best free tourist attraction in Europe by TripAdvisor, behind the Pantheon in Rome and the National Gallery in London.

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 is currently enjoying a record breaking year.
“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.”

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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