Museum in frame for national crown

By on 23/02/2010 in Culture, News

Birmingham's Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is in line for a top national tourism award.

The Hockley museum, opened in 1992, has been shortlisted for the silver or gold award in the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010.

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 national recognition and it has now been shortlisted for either silver or gold at the national awards ceremony on April 23.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture, said: “The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter truly is one of Birmingham's real gems and deserves to be shortlisted for such a high profile national award.

 “A visit to the museum is a fascinating experience, telling the story of the Jewellery Quarter and showcasing this city's renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage.”

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is currently experiencing a record breaking year and has comfortably eclipsed the previous record figure of 33,000 visitors for 2007/8. The current figure stands at 46,500 and officials are confident they can pass the 50,000 mark by the end of next month.

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.”

ENDS

For further information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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