Manchester Museum has been announced as one of five finalists for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2024, the world’s largest museum prize.

Art Fund annually shortlists five outstanding museums for Museum of the Year. The 2024 edition recognises inspiring projects from autumn 2022 through to winter 2023, with audiences and communities at their heart – with a particular focus on community engagement, sustainable ways of working, and demonstration of ambition by reinventing what it means to be ‘the best’ museum for the audiences of today and tomorrow.

The news comes at a good time for Manchester Museum, which recently welcomed its one millionth visitor since reopening to the public in February last year, following a £15 million values-led redevelopment. It was the most visited indoor museum in the north of England during 2023, despite being open for less than 11 months, with 790,332 people walking through the doors during the calendar year.

Manchester Museum Director Esme Ward said: "Manchester Museum's redevelopment was the result of 10 years' collective endeavour so being shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year is a moment of joy for everyone to share in, from staff and partners to our communities and Manchester itself. It is affirmation of museums' power to bring people together in building a more inclusive, hopeful future."

Manchester Museum, part of The University of Manchester, is one of the largest university museums in the UK. Built on values of inclusion, imagination and care, the Museum has undergone a transformation designed to bring communities together and build understanding between cultures. As part of this, a £15 million redevelopment, 'hello future', was completed in February 2023. The project introduced new galleries, partnerships, visitor facilities, and sector-leading work around repatriation, restitution and indigenisation.

The other four shortlisted museums are Craven Museum (Skipton, North Yorkshire); Dundee Contemporary Arts (Dundee); National Portrait Gallery (London); Young V&A - Victoria and Albert Museum (London).

The winning museum will be announced at a ceremony at the National Gallery in London on 10 July and will receive £120,000. £15,000 will be given to each of the four other finalists – bringing the total prize money to £180,000.

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