Being Brunel, the new museum and event space at Bristol’s top-rated visitor attraction, has been named ‘Permanent Exhibition of the Year’ at the 17th Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence Ceremony.
The 2019 awards ceremony celebrated innovative and ground-breaking initiatives from museums, galleries and heritage visitor attractions across the UK and overseas.
Anna Preedy, Director of the annual Museums + Heritage Awards commented: “These awards recognise the amazing achievements, creativity, innovation, hard work and utter commitment evident throughout the museums and heritage sector. The awards have become the benchmark for excellence and the shortlistees and winners represent the very best of the best.”
The new museum, which opened in 2018, tells the extraordinary story of hero engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, through never-before-seen personal possessions, as well as interactive exhibits and audio-visual experiences. Integral to this was the recreation and interpretation of the dockyard as an appropriate setting for the SS Great Britain, in order to help visitors understand her historical context and local and national connections.
Chief Executive of the SS Great Britain Trust, Dr Matthew Tanner, said: “Winning the Museums + Heritage Award for Permanent Exhibition of the Year is a real credit to our staff, volunteers and our in-house Project Manager who worked so hard to make Being Brunel a reality. By preserving Brunel’s legacy in this way, the museum aims to show not only what the man made, but what made the man and what we can learn from his legacy to inspire engineers and innovators of the future.”
Talking about Being Brunel, Diane Lees CBE, Director General of the Imperial War Museums and Chair of the 2019 judging panel, noted: “This imaginative new permanent display has cleverly managed to tell the story of a period in history through the eyes and mind of one man. It is creative, detailed and breaks new ground, much like its subject did all those years ago”.