News. Place Projects - 13 May 2022

Museum of Making shortlisted for industry award and cash boost

The Museum of Making at the Derby Silk Mill has been listed as one of the best in the country and following it being nominated for an industry award which could see the facility win a huge cash boost.

The museum is one of five to be shortlisted for the Art Fund Museum of the Year Award for 2022, the world’s largest museum prize. The winner will receive £100,000 – the largest cash prize in the world for museums – from the Art Fund. The other nominees will receive £15,000.

The Museum of Making opened in May 2021 after an £18 million renovation, which has turned it into an interactive space which celebrates Derby’s heritage. D2N2 LEP contributed £3.7 million towards the project via the Local Growth Fund.

Since it opened a year ago, the museum has welcomed 100,000 visitors to the 300-year-old Silk Mill, widely regarded as the world’s first modern factory.  It has over 150 volunteers which help to care for the unique space and over 30,000 exhibits, which showcase the city’s industrial past to future generations.

A place for innovation and creativity

Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums said: “I am thrilled that the Museum of Making has been shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022. For over 300 years Derby Silk Mill has been a symbol of the city as a place for innovation and creativity.

“We are so proud of the transformation of the Mill into a live, interactive museum, where people can learn, think and make. Through its exhibitions, studios and workshops the Museum of Making not only celebrates our past but will inspire future generations.

“The recognition by the Art Fund is a tribute to the collective effort of staff, volunteers and the wider community who have shaped this wonderful museum, for which I am very thankful.”

Speaking on behalf of the judges, Jenny Waldman, director of the Art Fund said: “An abundance of applications to be Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022 shows the creativity and resilience of museums right around the country, despite the immense challenges of the last two years.

“The five superb finalists are all museums on a mission who are tackling the vital issues of today – from combating the climate emergency to improving literacy or exploring migration – and reaching diverse communities as they do so. Each is working hard to encourage the next generation to get involved, both to inspire them and to equip them with essential skills.”

The judging panel is made up of five-person panel including radio presenter Huw Stephens and Director-General of the Imperial War Museums, Dame Diane Lees. The judges will visit each shortlisted museum over the next two months before making their decision.

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