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Black Country Living Museum Awarded International Recognition

Museum Awarded International Recognition

16 February 2012

The Black Country Living Museum has joined the museums’ premier league, with today’s announcement that it has been awarded Designation by Arts Council England (ACE). In the words of ACE, Designation is a mark of distinction; an accolade, celebrating unique collections of national and international importance, and a vital component of England’s cultural identity. ACE goes on to say that, Designated collections are iconic, authentic and of the finest quality; resourced with sophisticated expert management, and set in aspirational and creative organisations.

John H Hughes, Chair of the Museum said: “I am absolutely thrilled that the Museum has gained the internationally recognised accolade of Designation. The strength of our application was readily recognised by ACE and the award is a fitting tribute to the Museum, the Black Country and the many hundreds of people who have campaigned, developed and supported the Museum over the last 40 years. It is not only so gratifying for our many sponsors but is also a massive vote of confidence in our teams and our strategy for the development of the Museum.”

Andrew Lovett, Director & Chief Executive of the Museum said, “This is an enormous step forward for the Museum, not only recognising the strength of our entire collection, but an endorsement of how we are developing our own style of engaging people – our visitors - creatively in history. Even in testing economic times, when we are having to adapt to difficult trading conditions, used wisely, it will further help us to fulfil the Museum’s potential, and greatly strengthens our natural leadership role in the museums sector in the Black Country region. It is the museum equivalent of AAA rating, and could not have been achieved without the knowledge, expertise and determination of the Museum’s chief historian and Director of Collections, Learning & Research, David Eveleigh and his team.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said: “We are delighted to be awarding this prestigious standard to the Black Country Living Museum. The organisation’s collections offer a fascinating and important insight into the history of the nation, and should be celebrated.”

Hedley Swain, Director, Museums & Renaissance for Arts Council England said, “Designation does not come easily. It is a hugely competitive and exacting independent examination of a collection’s quality and significance, as well as a museum’s commitment to putting learning and people at the centre of its vision. Those museums which attain Designation are to be warmly congratulated, for they can be sure that they endorse the values held by the best museums, and deserve to be widely and enthusiastically supported.” 

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