02/07/2010

Ulster Museum Scoops Top UK Award

The Ulster Museum has won one of the most prestigious museums prizes in the world.

At a recent awards ceremony in London, the museum was presented with the £100,000 UK Art Fund Prize.

The museum, which reopened in October 2009, following a £17.2m rejuvenation, faced competition from museums across England, Scotland and Wales and last month reached the final shortlist of four, along with the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), Blists Hill Victorian Town (Shropshire) and The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum (Coventry).

The competition involved an online public vote as well as a rigorous judging process led by broadcaster Kirsty Young.

Tim Cooke, Director of National Museums Northern Ireland, said: "Rejuvenating the Ulster Museum in Belfast has been a deeply rewarding and purposeful experience coinciding with a remarkable period of change in Northern Ireland’s history. The public appetite for the new space and for engagement with our collections has been huge – as evidenced by the record visitor numbers and the massive level of support for the public vote element of the Art Fund Prize.

"I am grateful to all our visitors and supporters for their vital interest, to our funders, including the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Heritage Lottery Fund, to all National Museums Northern Ireland staff involved in the project and to the Art Fund Prize judges for all their time, care and enthusiasm. It is particularly humbling for us to be selected for this prize against such high calibre competition."

He continued: "We are delighted on Northern Ireland’s behalf. This is the first time in Northern Ireland’s history that a prestigious cultural prize of this nature has been awarded to an institution in the region. This prize will encourage us as we endeavour to play a meaningful role at the heart of our changing society."

Northern Ireland Culture Minister, Nelson McCausland commended museum staff for "their commitment and creativity, which has enabled the museum to win this superb award".

Since reopening, the Ulster Museum has become Northern Ireland’s busiest visitor attraction with visitor numbers to date of over 420,000.

(NS/GK)

Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 May 2010
Ulster Museum Nominated For Arts Prize
The revamped Ulster Museum has been nominated for the UK's largest single arts prize. The shortlist for the £100,000 Art Fund Prize 2010 incorporates a wide range of museums that have seen major redevelopments over the past year.
06 October 2010
Patton Group Awarded Contract For Museum Refurbishment
The Ballymena-based Patton Group has won a multi-million pound construction contract for a major refurbishment project at The Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Cultra, Northern Ireland.
15 May 2019
Start-Up Firms Urged To Seize Chance To Win €100k
Northern Irish companies in the seed, start-up and early stages of business development, who are seeking to ramp up their funding, are being urged to enter InterTradeIreland's Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition for the chance to win a share of a €280,000 cash prize fund, with the overall winner taking away €100k.
19 May 2011
Manor Reopens Following £3m Facelift
The newly appointed Stormont Culture Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín has unveiled the newly refurbished Cultra Manor at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum.
13 April 2021
Hinch Distillery And Visitor Centre Officially Opens
The new Hinch Distillery and visitor centre located just outside Ballynahinch has officially opened.