Wakefield Museum shortlisted for two national Family Friendly Museum Awards

Monday, July 08, 2024

Wakefield Museum has been shortlisted for two Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum awards.  

Being shortlisted for not one but two Kids in Museums Family Friendly awards is a fantastic achievement for Wakefield Museum.  It is wonderful to be recognised by a national charity for our commitment to accessibility and for our work to engage underrepresented young people from across the district.  

“We wish all the shortlisted museums the best of luck and we are excited to find out the winners in October.” 

Cllr Michelle Collins

Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport

Cllr Michelle Collins

The museum in Wakefield One was shortlisted for Best Accessible Museum and Best Museum Youth Group. It is the only museum to have been shortlisted in more than one category.  

Charity Kids in Museums has run a prestigious annual award since 2004, recognising the most family friendly heritage sites in the UK.  

From late March to early June, families and museums across the UK could vote for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of museum experts then whittled down hundreds of nominations to a shortlist of 19 heritage attractions. 

This year, a new category, Best Museum Youth Group, was introduced. This new award category celebrates museum staff and young people working together in a long-term, meaningful, and impactful way, such as through youth panels or forums, young volunteer schemes, and history or art clubs.   

Wakefield Museum is vying against three other museums in the Best Museum Youth Group category and two other museums in the Best Accessible Museum category. 

The panel will decide the winners to be announced at an awards ceremony in October. 

Follow the Family Friendly Museum Award on social media by following @kidsinmuseums and #FamilyFriendlyMuseum. 

The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible with funding from Arts Council England. 


For information:

Wakefield Museum ran a project called Wakefield: Where We Are…in 2023, which aimed to engage young people, aged 16 to 25, with arts and culture. It was a partnership project between Wakefield Museum, the British Museum and the Youth Association and saw 14 young people engage in a 12-week programme of artistic activities, before co-producing a display in the museum. Following the success of that project, the museum has established a Youth Forum, giving young people a say in how the museum service operates.   

At the same time, the museum has worked hard to improve accessibility, to meet the needs of a diverse range of people. Weekly relaxed openings, workshops and activities for people with SEND, a Special Home Education programme, and Pick and Mix stations full of accessible resources are just some of the initiatives introduced by the museum over the past two years.  

Over the summer, the team at Wakefield Museum will be visited by an expert panel, who will assess their Youth Group, and some mystery shoppers, who will assess their accessible offer 

About Wakefield Museum 

Wakefield Museum is one of three museums and two castles run by Wakefield Council. It is a fully accredited museum, located in Wakefield One. Visitors can imagine life as a 19th-century prisoner, discover Wakefield’s rugby heritage, hear the crackle of forced rhubarb, learn the hardships of war, and see a 1966 World Cup football. The popular Front Room encourages intergenerational play, while a Special Exhibition gallery offers a changing programme of co-produced exhibitions.  

About Kids in Museums 

Kids in Museums is an award-winning charity dedicated to making museums open and welcoming to all children, young people and families. They support and champion family friendly organisations through wide-ranging initiatives, including the Family Friendly Museum Award and Takeover Day. They invite heritage organisations to sign up to their Manifesto, which sets out simple guidelines for making museums easy to reach for all ages. www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk 

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  

About the Family Friendly Museum Award 

Kids in Museums began the Family Friendly Museum Award in 2004 to recognise heritage sites that are the most welcoming, fun, and accessible for families.  

Previous winners of the Family Friendly Museum Award include Craven Museum (2024), currently shortlisted for Art Fund’s Museum of the Year 2024, the National Emergency Services Museum in Sheffield (2022), Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery in Alnwick (2021), Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline (2019), and Leeds City Museum (2018). 

The full list of museums shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2024 is:  

Best Accessible Museum:

Cooper Art Gallery Barnsley 

Streetlife Museum, Hull 

Wakefield Museum 


Best Small Museum:

Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea 

Museum of the Order of St John, London 

National Civil War Centre, Newark 

Nothe Fort, Weymouth 

Story Museum, Oxford 


Best Medium Museum :

Discover Children’s Story Centre 

Museum of the Home 

Museum of Making, Derby 

Turner Contemporary, Margate 


Best Large Museum: 

National Galleries Scotland – Modern One, Edinburgh 

Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester 

Young V&A, London 


Best Museum Youth Group:

This new award category celebrates museum staff and young people working together in a long-term, meaningful, and impactful way, such as through youth panels or forums, young volunteer schemes, and history or art clubs.  It was open to museum applications only and will be judged by an expert panel. 

Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art 

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter 

Tees Valley Museum 

Wakefield Museum 


About Arts Council England 

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where every one of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. From 2024 to 2026 we will invest over £440 million of public money from Government and an estimated £93 million from The National Lottery each year to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk. 




Back to top