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News release - Issued by York Museums Trust - 10 Oct 2016

York Art Gallery Wins Family Friendly Museum Award 2016

York Art Gallery has been announced as the Family Friendly Museum 2016 by renowned charity; Kids in Museums, sponsored by Philip Mould Gallery and Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.

York Art Gallery came out on top against nine other museums and galleries in UK, including Egypt Centre Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (Swansea), Hampton Court Palace (Greater London), Manchester Art Gallery and National Glass Centre (Sunderland).

Reyahn King, chief executive at York Museums Trust, said: “We are so pleased to have been announced as the winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2016.

“York Art Gallery has always strived to be as inclusive and family-friendly as possible, with workshops for under 5s, school holiday activities and areas in each exhibition space to encourage playful learning. We also regularly work with local schools and colleges.

“It was wonderful to have been nominated for this award by families that had visited the gallery and to win it will hopefully encourage even more families to come along and get creative at York Art Gallery.”

Dea Birkett, Creative Director, Kids in Museums: “We’re thrilled to announce York Art Gallery as the winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award. It was a tough year – with a ten-strong shortlist – so to shine out to families and children as the most welcoming is a great achievement. Our undercover family judges were particularly impressed at how the gallery aimed to make all ages feel welcome – from tiny babies to teenagers. There’s no typical family, so museums need to include all of them, whatever ages, whatever sizes. York Art Gallery excels at this.”

Gaby Lees, assistant curator of arts (learning) at York Art Gallery, said: “The redevelopment of the gallery always had a family-friendly focus; we wanted people of all ages to feel welcome and to use the space in their own way.

“We are thrilled to have won this award and to have our endeavours recognised. We hope this will encourage even more families to come and use our creative spaces and have fun with the resources we have on offer.”

The nominated museums and galleries were:

  • Egypt Centre Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (Swansea)
  • Hampton Court Palace (Greater London)
  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • National Glass Centre (Sunderland)
  • The Novium Museum (Chichester)
  • River & Rowing Museum (Henley-on-Thames)
  • Towner Art Gallery (Eastbourne)
  • Weald & Downland Open Air Museum (West Sussex)
  • Wrexham County Borough Museum
  • York Art Gallery

Kids in Museums is an independent charity, working UK-wide to support museums to better welcome and include children, young people and families – in particular those who haven’t visited before


Notes to editor:

The £8 million development of York Art Gallery

When it reopened in summer 2015 York Art Gallery had 60 per cent extra space, including a suite of three galleries to show ambitious and high profile exhibitions and extra learning space.

The development also included:

• The creation of the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) displaying the biggest collection of British Studio Ceramics in the UK.
• A second entrance at the rear of the gallery into a new Artists’ Garden linking to the York Museum Gardens.
• Better visitor facilities including new cafe, shop, toilets and lift,
• Much improved storage for the collections.

For further press information contact:

Lee Clark, Communications Manager, York Museums Trust, telephone 01904 687673 or e-mail

Lauren Masterman, Marketing and Press Co-ordinator, telephone 01904 650351 or email